This month’s EMS Dashboard Confessional comes from an experienced executive working in a hospital-based agency. I am a big fan of getting stakeholder input before making critical decisions, but sometimes there is a downside:
“Some years back, we needed to replace our cardiac monitors and had secured capital to purchase about 50 of them – not a small purchase. Wanting to be inclusive, I stood up a committee to review products and asked the group of about 10 opinionated paramedics to make a recommendation.The group met multiple times and had spirited and thoughtful debate about what they thought would be the monitor best for our agency. After a time they made a unanimous recommendation that we should buy brand X.
When I was ready to move forward with the purchase, I went to hospital management and ask them to place the order. To my dismay, I was told that our parent organization had an exclusive contract with the maker of brand Y, and I was not allowed to purchase outside that contract. With great regret I had to go back to the committee with my tail between my legs and explain that I never actually had the authority to authorize what I had asked the committee to do. It was painful, and it took me months (if not longer) to regain their trust. Moral of the story – understand your level of authority, and if you can’t accept someone’s opinion and/or recommendation, don’t ask for it.”