Posts Tagged ‘ Serving A/M Patients

New Linear Service Model: Practical Insights Blog

CompassCare is excited to announce another new and free resource for medical pregnancy center executives. Announcing the “Linear Service Model: Practical Insights” blog dedicated to communicating the actual results, experiences, and lessons learned from pregnancy centers that are currently using a linear service model (LSM) to reach and serve women seriously considering abortion more effectively.

Valuable nuggets of a LSM: Where theory becomes reality

Check it out at www.prcoptimizationtool.com/prc-ot-blog/

Improving Mission Effectivness for 2011

As executives we face a myriad of daily challenges. Everything from dealing with individual client issues, staffing challenges, donor communications, media inquiries, to running board and committee meetings, etc clamor for our time. If we are not careful we will miss doing what only you and I as executives can do for the organization; maintaining focus on the mission. As management guru Peter Drucker says, “Every non-profit institution exists for the sake of performance in changing people and society. But how often do we make decisions about what we do from day to day based on the medical clinic or pregnancy center’s performance?

Drucker goes on to say, “The most important task of an organization’s leader is to anticipate crisis.” He says this for several reasons. First, a crisis is always looming on the horizon. To think otherwise is unwise. We may not be able to avoid it but at least we can anticipate it. Anticipation allows for better preparation. Our organizations can never be fully prepared which is why leadership amidst the crisis is so critical. Second anticipating a crisis forces innovation or what is often called continuous improvement. We begin to ask ourselves, “How can we keep accomplishing our mission in a down economy?” or “How can we continue to provide the same services under greater governmental restriction?” It forces us to work ‘on’ the ministry rather than working ‘in’ it. It forces us to empower others to do the tasks that others can do so that we can focus on what no one else can do for the organization. Third, anticipation provides the necessary courage for us to make the hard choices of trimming the services that are not getting the results we need to get for the mission while at the same time providing clarity to communicate rationale to the organization’s constituents why certain decisions have to be made.

Of course, to effectively anticipate a crisis so as to avoid it or weather it one must be the steward of a mission that is laser focused. Without a laser focused mission it becomes virtually impossible to anticipate crisis. One might even be tempted to say, “Only God knows the future!” and go on doing the 501 piranha school of tasks nibbling for your time. This is the path toward organizational mission drift and in the end will result in a museum of service rather than a mechanism for service. But a very focused mission such as to reach and serve women at risk for abortion and help them have their babies raises the executives vision high enough to see the challenges over the horizon.

Mission Focus Gets Results

So, to improve Pregnancy Center mission effectiveness in 2011 one must begin by reviewing the organization’s mission statement for clarity and focus. Then review all the activities of the organization to see if they immediately apply or are if they are helpful but non-essential to the mission. Finally, begin to think through a plan to improve either first by focusing the mission or asking questions of the organization to understand if it can get better at reaching more abortion-minded women and serving them in a way that more effectively helps them have their babies.

Remember executives are obsessed with results. If the organization is not getting the results it should something must change and that’s why you are there.

For more information go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

More Abortion-minded Women: Making Your Dream a Reality

An issue came up in a Pregnancy Center Leadership discussion group recently that we as executives think about all the time: “How can we reach more pregnant women truly at risk for abortion?” and its sister question, “How can we serve those women in a way that more consistently helps them have their babies?” The particular conversation centered around an executive of a Pregnancy Center in a Midwestern college town feeling like they are not reaching enough abortion-minded women compared to the number of abortions taking place there.

“What exactly leads you to conclude that you actually have a problem?” I asked. “You have made some logical assumptions but your logic is hidden to the rest of us. I am sure you have already figured this out but it would be helpful for the rest of us to get a really good handle on how you arrived at your concern and more importantly what to do about it. Would you be willing to be a little case study for us by answering the following questions for us to chew on? I believe the old adage is true: What gets measured gets fixed. Perhaps we can analyze this as a group of PRC executives in an effort to not only help you but help each other.

1. How many abortions occur in your area annually? 1000

2. How many abortion providers are in your county? 3

3. What is the primary ethnic, age and educational demographic of those women getting abortions? 18-24 Caucasian with 13 years of completed education (sophomore in college)

4. How many appointments did your organization schedule in 2009? 250

5. How many pregnancy tests were performed in 2009? 125

6. How many of those pregnancy tests were positive? 75

7. How many of those positive test patients did you consider to be ‘at risk for an abortion?’ 60

8. How many pregnant, at risk clients can you serve this year? Maybe 460

9. How many of the pregnant at risk patients received an ultrasound their fist visit? 45

10. How many of those said that they were going to continue the pregnancy at the end of their initial appointment? 38

The dream of this executive is to reach 460 pregnant women seriously considering abortion this year. Her initial impression was that all she needed to do was increase her advertising budget. Based on the information she provided if she wanted to reach all 460 women seriously considering abortion in her area using the organization’s current client trends and percentages she would need to filter through 12,000 client appoints per year!

We have found this scenario to represent the typical pregnancy center. What about your pregnancy center? This executive thought that the answer to her low client volume was more advertising. But there is a deeper issue at play. More advertising will only result in more of the same. The approach the center is taking in order to serve the right women in the right way needs  to be streamlined so they can accomplish their goal. (See Case Study of Omaha, NE Pregnancy Center) Otherwise they will be spending precious resources on women who are either not pregnant or not really at risk for abortion. The solution to this service problem lies at the philosophy of ministry that has been adopted. This pregnancy center while using an ultrasound machine is still in the old paradigm of pregnancy center ministry CompassCare coined the Global Service Model or Client-centered approach. In order for them to reach their goal of serving 460 pregnant at risk women they will need to adopt a new paradigm of ministry CompassCare coined the Linear Service Model (LSM).

For information about how to create a linear service model (LSM) to reach and effectively serve abortion-minded women go to prcoptimizationtool.com.

A Pregnancy Center Executive’s Journey to an LSM: Wisdom Part B

Walking into the office on his first day George was met with two very valuable surprises.  The first was a phone message from a local doctor saying she wanted to somehow be involved in the organization not knowing in what capacity a non-medical facility could use a medical doctor.  The second was a business card that was given to him by the organization’s client services director, Val.  She had heard this man speak at a conference from which she had recently returned and thought that he may be someone that could be helpful.  His name was Bob.  As George read the card he realized that he knew this man.  Coincidentally, eight years earlier his wife had once worked for Bob in a CPC in the southeast as a counselor coordinator.

Wasting no time George made the call.  “Hi, Bob?  You may not remember me but my name is George Knight.  My wife . . . .”

With that Bob interrupted saying, “Oh, yes, George, how is your wife, Linda?  I really appreciated her servant’s heart.  We miss her around here.”

Surprised by the immediate and warm reception of this most certainly very busy man, Bob asked George to explain the events that led to his being hired as the Executive Director of a CPC in the northeast.  George described how after finishing their master’s degrees in Chicago they moved to Florida so that he could take a position as the pastor of a small church north of Tampa.  George describes, “Bob, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.  The church was fraught with issues including moral ones that needed to be addressed.  When I attempted to address some of those issues, the people that held most of the influence pushed back telling me to leave things alone.  Finally, it became clear to me that at the next church business meeting I would have to make a decision about my tenure there.  One of the hot button issues was going to be decided upon and if the church voted the wrong way I would have to choose to either stay and look the other way knowing that something was gravely wrong or take a stand and ultimately resign my position.  The church business meeting was scheduled for the next Wednesday.  That Monday, just two days before, I received a call from the interim executive saying that the board of Crisis Pregnancy Services had received and reviewed my resume wondered if I was available for a conference call interview that same day.  In describing the situation to the interim executive saying that my preference was to remain as pastor bBut if the situation did not change I could not in good conscience do so.  We both agreed that a board interview would not hurt anything.  To make a long story short the board unanimously decided to extend an offer to me that evening should God free me from my current situation.  Two and a half weeks later we had moved.

With that Bob exclaimed, “George, welcome to the club.  How can I help you?”

“Well, here we are in a medium size town with a small operation.  Furthermore, I know virtually nothing about running a pregnancy center.  What do you think is the first thing I should do?” asked George.

“First let me take a minute and applaud the fact that you are seeking wisdom.  In the Bible the book of Proverbs 4:7 says, ‘The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; and with all your acquiring, get understanding.’  George, to me the fact that we are even having a conversation says that you are off to a great start.  Keep seeking understanding about what it is you should do and you will be rewarded.  Never stop seeking wisdom because you will never have enough. The world continues to change around us and the understanding you had yesterday will not be enough to handle tomorrow.”

“Thank you for your encouraging words, Bob.  But you know, I truly feel at a loss as to where to even begin.”

“Well,” began Bob, “your staff are key to your organization’s success and there are two things you must never fail to do for them; a) provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs and b) provide them with clear direction.  You can start by spending a little money on showing them how much you appreciate them.  Do you have any money in the bank?”

“A little.”

“If your organization is anything like the other organizations I’ve seen in the past the staff does not get paid very much.  So do whatever you can to thank them for their dedicated service.  It is they who will be accomplishing the mission.  Give them bonuses, buy Christmas gifts, and take them out to lunch.  Do as much as you can within reason to show them you really appreciate the sacrifices they have made for the organization.  It will be worth every penny in the moral boost you will gain from it.”

“O.K.,” George scribbled down another note on a piece of paper a little reticent about spending the precious dollars he new they would need in the not-so-distant future.  “What next?” asked George.

“Then,” said Bob, “you need to start digging.  If you are going to provide direction for your staff you need to know more about what it will take to get where you want to go.  Do your homework about what it will take to add a medical service to your operation in your State.  It would be good to locate a doctor that would be willing to work with you.”  George smiled at the note on his desk from the doctor offering to volunteer.  “Other than that, just settle in and start to get to know some of your donors.  You’ll need money pretty soon in order to sustain a more professional service like medical care.”

After a few more miscellaneous questions the conversation ended with Bob expressing confidence in George’s ability to accomplish the lofty task of moving toward a medical model of service leaving the door open for George to call again any time.  George new that the wisdom he had just received was solid gold and he wanted more.  He looked down at his notes after he hung up the phone and reviewed what he wrote.

See the post next week for Executive application of Wisdom virtue for a linear service model or click HERE to go to the CompassCare Training website for a suggested reading list.

A Pregnancy Center Executive’s Journey to an LSM: Wisdom Part A

Two months in to his new role as Executive Director at Crisis Pregnancy Services George Knight sat starring down at the city street from his second floor Executive office.  It was a nice office but the walk up the cavernous lonely stairwell from the busy city sidewalk felt a lot like being transported into a private detective novel where the PI’s office was in an old ACME building complete with metal desks and Spartan wooden chairs.  A chill wind was blowing and somehow managed to find its way through the failed molding of the big windows that were part of the old 1900 brick façade.  It was only 3 P.M. and already it was starting to get dark there up near the boarder of Canada.  The cloudy sky did not help to brighten things up.  Sitting there he wondered what it would really take as an Executive to turn around this small, fledgling non-profit Crisis Pregnancy Center (CPC).  He wondered . . . would a handful of volunteers, no professional services to speak of, few clients being served from day to day, and just three part time staff be enough to bring the organization to a new level of professional medical service?  Not to mention the fact that the annual budget was just a little over $100,000 supported by a couple hundred small but committed donors.  Yet they did have $48,000 in the bank to invest in rejuvenating the organization.  Secretly though George wondered if it would be enough.

Balancing What You Have with Where You Need to Go

The Board of Directors brought George on with the primary commission of converting the operation from a traditional lay counseling CPC to one that offered professional medical services to women facing unplanned pregnancy.  The board felt that the organization was not reaching the women the organization was created to help; pregnant women who were at risk for an abortion.  They reasoned that adding a professional medical service like ultrasound technology could be the one thing that may make the organization appear more relevant to the women they needed to reach.  George did not question that assumption at first.  However, adding medical services was not an easy task especially in a State where this was uncharted territory as well as a State that seemed to over legislate everything.  Added to that the town had a history of being pro-abortion, and currently housed 13 practices that provided abortion with an estimated 8000 abortions occurring in town annually.  The competition for the attention of the women facing unplanned pregnancy was almost overwhelming.  Additionally the organization and its supporters were grieving the untimely death of the previous executive who George was replacing.  But George felt a deep sense of commitment, as if God Himself had called him to this mission of reversing the abortion trend in the community.  And therefore in his more optimistic moments believed that the resources he had at his disposal would be enough to get that little organization where it needed to go.  Two things George new for sure: 1) He did not know enough to get this job done on his own and 2) He knew some people that might be able to help.

For case studies of pregnancy centers that have implemented a comprehensive linear service model click here.

Virtuous Leadership and a Linear Service Model Part 1

Virtuous Leadership and a Linear Service Model (LSM) Part 1: As goes the Executive so goes the organization.

Virtuous Leadership=Focused Organization

In the process of both running a medical PRC and helping others to develop and operate their medical PRCs it occurred to me that there are certain questions all of us PRC Executives need to have answered.  Questions like:
-How can we get more abortion-minded women to call our center?
-How can we get more abortion-minded women who call to schedule an appointment?
-How can we get more of those who schedule an appointment to show?
-How can we get more of the women we see to have their babies?
-How can I as an executive get more control over the organization and out of the daily grind of wondering just how effective our counseling methods really are and know for sure?
These questions are linked to each other and often if you answer one you solve another.  The good news is that the answers to these questions are available.  Even better than that many center executives are experiencing the freedom and comfort that comes with knowing that their organization is accomplishing the mission of reaching and effectively serving women at risk for abortion better than they ever dreamed they could right now.  The next few posts are written to address these questions.  It is my hope they will help propel you as an executive as well as the organization which you lead to a higher level of effectiveness than you ever let yourself believe was possible.

In the process of thinking through how to convey the answers to the most pressing questions every PRC executive seems to share, something occurred to me; there is only one guarantee for success.  I have seen many organizations face the difficult questions, make difficult decisions about how to answer those questions, and go on to greater effectiveness at reaching and serving women facing unplanned pregnancies, while others do not.  At first glance the organization that ultimately succeeds at that worthiest of all goals versus the one that does appear the same.  But after having observed and worked with both types of PRCs over the years, a key difference began to emerge between them.  But that key difference was not manifesting as the usual suspects such as a specific type of operation.  It was not that one offered a specific service like ultrasound technology and the other did not. Nor was it dependant on access to money.  It was not even that the successful organizations had developed a strategic plan, because unsuccessful ones had too.  What we began to notice was that while the organizations that were effective and gained greater effectiveness at reaching and serving women at risk for abortion were the ones that were committed to sticking to their strategic plan and creating systems of service to intentionally improve (LSM), there seemed to be an underlying driving force to that commitment.  These organizations had the fortitude to do the really, really hard work of facing their brutal reality and creating a new reality through focused action.  Incidentally it is difficult to have consistently focused activity without a strategic plan driving the development of the approaches that are taken to accomplish the mission. But the specifics of a strategic plan seem to be secondary.

Admittedly, I was a little surprised at the revelation that the specific details of a strategic plan were secondary to just simply having and religiously sticking to that plan.  The end result is almost always some level of a step by step Linear Service Model. You must forgive my bias toward the value of the CompassCare LSM.  However, once my proverbial eyes adjusted to the light of this new revelation we started asking ourselves:  “What made some organizations able to pursue a strategic plan while others seemed content to let their strategic plan, if they had one, sit on the shelf?”

Over time we began to observe a common element in pregnancy centers that continued to get better and better at their mission.  At the heart of the organizations that were able to purse a strategic plan and enjoy the resulting benefits of a more or less linear service process for reaching and serving the high risk abortion-minded woman was the activity of a particular person; the executive.

We began to realize that the activity of a PRC, over the course of time, reflected the behavior and expectations of the person who occupied the  executive director position.  In fact this realization became so obvious that we began using the following phrase in all our PRC Linear Service training:  “As goes the executive so goes the organization.”

In part 2 we will discuss the role of personal virtue in executive leadership and what its practical implications are for developing and implementing an effective linear service model (LSM).

Check out the results of a pregnancy center in Omaha, NE after their executive, Michelle Sullivan, decided to implement a Linear Service Model by clicking here.

Optimized Linear Service Conference Review

Thank you to all the Executives that attended the April conference!

After some time to process the executives that attended CompassCare’s high impact conference in Rochester, NY came away with some valuable tools for continuous improvement when using a linear service model. How to know if doing something new is the right thing for the pregnancy center (A.K.A. innovation) is an extremely important part of keeping our pregnancy centers on the cutting edge.

Conference attendees were given principles and tools including a hands on workshop to help them navigate the sometimes difficult waters of knowing what to do next, how to go about doing it, and assessing whether or not it is helping the organization accomplish its mission of reaching and serving more efficiently women at risk for abortion. The tools included how to effectively:

  1. Assess
  2. Plan
  3. Do
  4. Reassess

Executive attendee Becky Wood made the following comment: “Regarding the OT Conference, it was more than I imagined, not just professionally, but also spiritually where it counts for eternity.

I loved the actual hands on experience of putting into practice the things we discuss about innovation, research, etc.”

Thanks, Becky and all!

For more information about CompassCare’s Linear Service Model call the Optimization Tool go to www.compasscaretraining.org

Part IV: Ethical Standards for Serving Abortion-minded Women

Transparency, Integrity, and Full Disclosure:

Due to the political, passionate and divisive nature of abortion women facing unplanned pregnancy are often the

Every woman has 3 Choices

victims of biased information and sales tactics at abortion clinics and elsewhere. It is our belief based on serving thousands of abortion-minded women across the country every year that women need to be insulated from these added agenda driven pressures. Furthermore, if they are insulated and at the same time given all the information and about all their options (abortion, adoption, and parenting) as well as the medical support needed at the moment more often than not she will choose to have her baby. Not a sane woman alive actually wants to have an abortion. They feel trapped, like abortion is their only way out. It is the job of the pregnancy center to provide support and security such that she realizes that she can actually pursue other options, a real choice.

So, in the interests of fairness and the desire to avoid non-exploitative behavior, organizations should:

1. Fully disclose the financial profit they stand to gain if the woman chooses one option over another.

2. Refrain from manipulation and coercive tactics such as inflaming irrational fear and panic.

3. Ask and obtain permission at each stage of the consultation process.

4. Conduct anonymous paper-and-pencil exit surveys to assess client/patient satisfaction with the organization. (See Attached Sample Exit Survey Here Client/Patient Exit Survey)

Part III: Ethical Standards for Serving Abortion-minded Women

What do therapy dogs have to do with pregnancy care centers? Therapy dogs have proven to raise morale of long term hospital patients which in turn improves the patient’s overall health. But are their times when there are NO DOGs ALLOWED? If you don’t know your ethical standards anything goes and it will become increasingly more difficult to determine what should and should NOT be done when serving clients/patients. Without know your ethical standards and how they apply it is very easy for good intentions to degenerate into poor or unethical performance.

Dogs in a Hospital? Where to draw the line.It is the same way with serving women facing unplanned pregnancy. There are things to do and things not to do. There are times to do them and times not to do them. This post is the third of a four part series of knowing your pregnancy center’s ethical standards of care.

Informed Decision-making:

To promote informed decision-making organizations should help to answer the 3 basic questions every woman needs to have answered in order to determine the outcome of her pregnancy:

A. Am I really pregnant? It is possible to not have a viable pregnancy and have a positive home pregnancy test.

  • A woman needs a medically definitive diagnosis of pregnancy confirmation using ultrasound technology or blood tests.

B.  How far along in the pregnancy am I? The further along in the pregnancy a woman is increases the complexity of her options.

  • A woman needs an ultrasound scan to determine the exact gestational age of the baby. Gestational age determines the type of abortion procedure she would be eligible to receive.
  • All abortion procedures are medical procedures. Therefore each abortion procedure has different costs and different risks associated with them.
  • Gestational age is important to know in terms of providing medically accurate information about fetal development.

C.  Is it important to know if I have a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? STDs can negatively impact future reproductive health if left untreated.

  • Some STDs if left untreated prior to an abortion procedure increase the risk of infection which can put a woman’s reproductive health in jeopardy.
  • Testing and treatment for the most common STDs, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, is essential to prior to an abortion to safeguard a woman’s reproductive health.

To learn more about how to apply ethical standards through a linear service process that holds all staff and volunteers accountable to those standards go to www.compasscaretraining.org.

Update:  See Part IV:  Ethical Standards for Serving Abortion Minded Women.

Part I: Ethical Standards for Organizations Serving At-Risk Women

You and I know that the abortion industry has not identified nor do they use proper ethical standards of care when serving women facing unplanned pregnancy. Not necessarily news to you is it? Because of that the likelihood of a woman being victimized by the political and financial interests of those providers is drastically increased. It is unjust and upsetting and reveals an opportunity.

Are You Following Your Standards?

And what about the Pregnancy Resource Center movement? Have we clearly identified proper ethical standards of care for medical services and counseling? For example, let’s say that your Pregnancy Help Clinic provides pregnancy testing. And let’s say a woman comes in who is seriously considering an abortion and your organization provides her with one. Assuming that it takes just 4 minutes for you to get a result on the pregnancy test you decide to ‘counsel’ the woman for 30 or more minutes about the negative aspects of abortion. This could be considered an unethical use of the trust a woman is giving you by withholding critical decision-making information while you offer her what could be considered ‘your agenda’ about what she should do. This is a grey area but could be interpreted as ‘moral entrapment.’ What is the ethical standard you are using to defend the particular way your organization delivers pregnancy tests?

Anytime a group of people interacts with a person or another group of people that interaction should be governed by practical, ethical standards of care. Those standards which could be called ‘normative ethics’ are designed to insure the person or people receiving the service from you because of their distinct need are protected from any harm that could from exposure to the selfish intentions or personal agendas of the people providing the service. You may say, “Since we are Christians and mean only to help a woman considering abortion this is not a problem for us.” To that it must be said, “Abortion providers could also say they have only the best of intentions.” And it is because of the abortion industry’s lack of ethical standards of care we have an opportunity to set a national standard for all organizations serving women facing unintended pregnancy.

But first we must identify them, agree to them, and prove that we follow them in the pregnancy resource center movement. We are not talking about ‘Commitment of Care’ documents. We are talking about something much more specific.

To learn more about developing a system that will help to insure and optimize ethical standards in your Pregnancy Center go to www.compasscaretraining.org.

Update:  See Part II:  Ethical Standards for Organizations Serving Abortion Minded Women.