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Case Study: How to Motivate Hospital Patient Care Teams to Work Synergistically

The Biggest Integrated Health Delivery System in the US: How to Motivate Hospital Patient Care Teams to Work Synergistically

The Challenge 

Patient Care Teams are charged with the safety and wellbeing of patients in hospitals. Depending on the patient’s condition, these teams may include more than ten medical professionals, ranging from critical care physicians to patient advocates. Historically, these care teams work in independent silos within their departments, making cooperation and teamwork difficult between the different team members adversely affecting patient care outcomes.

The client asked The Sweeney Agency for a speaker on Teamwork, focusing on Patient Safety who could facilitate a system and ecosystem for enhanced collaboration between the various medical teams.

Our Mark Eaton SolutionKeynote Speaker on Teamwork Mark Eaton at The Sweeney Agency Speakers Bureau

We prepared a customized list of speaker ideas based on the client’s challenge. We worked in collaboration with the client, discussing their needs and sharing our insights to determine the speaker that best fit their event objectives. The client hired Mark Eaton to give the Keynote Address to an audience of healthcare practitioners at their annual Patient Safety Conference. Mark is a 2-time Defensive Player of the Year and played in the NBA for 12 years as a Center for the Utah Jazz. His keynote, entitled The Four Commitments of a Winning Team, was both eye-opening and inspirational to the 1200+ attendees at the event.


Mark’s key takeaways for the group:

  1.  Know your job: Mark is 7’4” and a Center for the Utah Jazz. He learned that to be successful as a Center meant NOT running up and down the court constantly like offensive players do, but rather, stopping at half-court to ensure he was always on defense. His job was to stand under the hoop, protect his teammates, and stop the opposing team from getting to the basket and making shots.
  2. Do what you’ve been asked to do: Rather than “trying your best at everything,” you should focus on what is needed of you. In order to do what is needed, you need to ask questions, seek clarity, determine expectations, and then execute on what is needed.
  3. Make other people on your team look good: Focus on others on the team. Mark found that the more he worked to make others on the team “look good,” the more his performance improved.
  4. Protect others on your team: Something Mark later learned about his role as Center for the Jazz was protecting his teammates. If a person doesn’t feel protected in a relationship, they won’t take risks. They won’t speak up. They’ll hold back their best performance. But if they feel protected, they will push much, much harder. You build loyalty, trust, and commitment when you protect those around you. Who protects you? And who do you protect?

The Result

The client’s thank you note to Mark several days after his talk is a testament to his success at the event: Aside from being a somewhat of a nutty and sentimental Jazz fan, I truly appreciated your talk and the message you delivered. It’s simple, elegant, practical and so applicable to our staff… especially in my safety world. 

The Client has received numerous commendations in their industry on Patient Care & Safety since Mark’s keynote:

  • Out of more than 1,000 plans rated in the Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2017-18, the Client is — for the second year in a row — the only health care entity in the nation to receive a 5.0, the highest score possible, for both its Medicare and commercial (Private) populations.
  • The Client has earned the Pharmacy Quality Alliance’s Excellence in Quality Award for high achievement in medication safety and appropriate use in 2017, 2018, and 2019.
  • Eleven of the Client’s hospitals in Southern California received “A” grades for excellence in patient safety. The Leapfrog Group released these ratings as part of its spring 2019 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade report


    About Mark Eaton

    Mark Eaton is a successful motivational speaker, entrepreneur and best-selling author of The Four Commitments of a Winning Team, who has earned the coveted CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation, the speaking profession’s highest international measure of professional competence. He has spoken to numerous world-class organizations including IBM, FedEx, Phillips 66, Caesars Entertainment, T-Mobile, LG, and businesses, government agencies and universities at every level. He has been a featured team-building expert on,, Wharton Business Radio, and Sports Illustrated. Eaton is an NBA All-Star who played with the Utah Jazz for 12 seasons, led the NBA in blocked shots 4 of those seasons, was named to the NBA All-Defensive Team 5 times, was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year 2 times, and still holds 2 NBA records—most blocks in a single season (456) and career average blocked shots per game (3.5).

    To Learn more about Mark Eaton contact [email protected]

    Derek Sweeney is the Director of Speaker Ideas at The Sweeney Agency. For 15 years Derek has been helping clients find the right Speakers for their events. Derek can be reached at 1-866-727-7555 or [email protected]