Part problem solver, part coach, 100% committed to putting patient care first is what has defined Deanna Tarnow’s 30+ year career in healthcare. Today, as Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety, she interfaces with a mix of teams across BETA Healthcare Group (BETA).
“Each organization has a different way of working, sharing information internally and addressing patient care needs. My job is to navigate their processes and find the best, most productive points of engagement and then help them build a collaborative culture with patient care at its center.”
The fact that Deanna is a great listener has been instrumental to her success, both as a nurse and a risk management professional. Initially earning her Diploma of Nursing, she provided direct patient care to renal transplant, step-down ICU and respiratory care patients. She went on to obtain a BA in Health Services Administration and moved into a risk management role 20+ years ago. Most recently, she completed an AHA-NPSF Comprehensive Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship (2013) and IHI Patient Safety Executive Development Training Program (2006).
More than a decade ago, when Deanna’s mother was ill, a physician opened a discussion that would determine a course of treatment with: “Please tell me about your mother?” By asking about the person – who she was, her personality, how she lived her life, what was important to her, that physician not only engaged the family in care decisions but, together, they were able to collaborate to come to an understanding of what made most sense for his patient. “By listening and developing a better understanding of the patient, the physician was taking a key step in caring for my mother in a manner that was consistent with her values and wishes. It was a simple, but profound question and one that has directly influenced the way I work and live.”
Patient care requires patience, all backed by a keen eye for detail and good listening skills. By listening and gathering the facts, probing and asking questions, Deanna seeks out information about a BETA member’s organizational culture and how information is shared (or not) among team members, including patients and their family. With these insights, she is able to tailor how she works with the team and provide BETA’s patient-centered care educational resources.