Learning to Be a Stronger Patient Advocate: Krista Hughes

Learning to Be a Stronger Patient Advocate: Krista Hughes

My guest for Episode #40 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is Krista Hughes, the CEO of her company Hughes Advocacy, a private patient advocacy firm that helps patients and their families navigate the health care system and get the best medical care possible.

She has over 25 years of experience working in the medical industry for Fortune 500 Companies like Cardinal Health.   She has also worked for CareFusion, C.R. Bard, and Karl Storz.  Prior to founding Hughes Advocacy, Krista worked as a medical device representative in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and the Florida Panhandle.

She has worked for the last five years as a “patient advocate” and we have a chance to talk about that today. Krista's “favorite mistake” is related to a time when she was advocating for a patient. We'll hear what she did (or didn't do) and how she's adjusted her approach as a result — to be a more effective advocate.

We also talk about our shared passion around what's often called “medical mistakes” — many of these mistakes are very preventable. We'll talk about systemic causes of these mistakes and how the system often falls back on a strategy of “delay, deny, and defend” which we all known gets in the way of learning and progress. We'll also explore this in a future episode with Dr. David Mayer, the CEO of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, so please stay tuned for that.

You can listen to or watch the episode below. A transcript also follows lower on this page. Please subscribe, rate, and review via Apple Podcasts or Podchaser! You can now sign up to get new episodes via email, to make sure you don't miss an episode. This podcast is part of the Lean Communicators network.

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Quotes:

"What's your podcast about? Mistakes? Well, if you don't think you make mistakes then,

"Now I'm arming my patients sufficiently. I'm teaching them to push back to ask the right questions."

"90% of the doctors I work with absolutely love working with an advocate. They say that I've helped reduce errors. They say, especially because of COVID, 'Do you know how much burden you have taken off my plate?'"

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Automated Transcript (May Contain Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):

Episode 40 Krista Hughes, CEO of Hughes Advocacy.

Krista Hughes (6s):

What's your podcast about? Mistakes? Well, if you don't think you make mistakes then, oh gosh, bless your heart.

Mark Graban (20s):

I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at myfavoritemistakepodcast.com for show notes, links, and more. Go to MarkGraban.com/mistake 40. And now on with the show. Welcome to My Favorite Mistake. I'm Mark Graban. I'm really happy to be joined today by Krista Hughes.

Mark Graban (1m 3s):

She's joining us from Birmingham, Alabama. So before I give a little bit more of an introduction, let me just say a welcome, welcome. Thanks for joining us.

Krista Hughes (1m 11s):

Thank you so much for inviting me. This is an honor, and I'm just so excited to be here and I hope that my favorite mistake is not only helps you, but helps your audience not to make the same mistake as I

Mark Graban (1m 26s):

do. Yeah, well, I'm sure I'm sure it will. I know we have some important topics ahead. And part of the reason I know that, let me tell the listeners, the audience a little bit more about Krista's background. So again, Krista Hughes, she is a patient advocate and we'll have a chance to talk about what that is. She is CEO of Hughes Advocacy. That's a private patient advocacy firm that helps patients and their families navigate the healthcare system and get the best medical care possible. So really important goals. And we'll have a chance to learn more about what that means and what you do and the topic of mistakes in general. But first off, Krista, what would you say is your favorite mistake?

Krista Hughes (2m 10s):

So there's a lot of mistakes, especially I think if you're starting a business, part of starting a business is making several mistakes and then learning from them. My favorite mistake has to be that something just happened recently during COVID and as a patient advocate on my mission statement, it, I talk about I'm going to be your voice and let's be proactive. And, you know, after five years of being an advocate, I've realized that my mission statement, I wasn't truly living it out. I wasn't using my voice as I should for my patients.

Krista Hughes (2m 50s):

And during COVID, I kind of had a aha the big light bulb moment of when I recognize my mistake. And it was because of being an advocate five years, when, when harm or error had happened to a patient, I always just tried to do the right thing and you know, not rock the boat. And I would take these mistakes to a facility in which they were occurring, because my hope was doing the right thing. You know, we're not going to point fingers, but let's work together and fix it. That's how we're going to grow one after repetitively doing this over and over. And it just fallen on deaf ears or being told no, or during COVID I had an administrator tell me that these are your perceptions.

Krista Hughes (3m 36s):

And I even had someone say, you know, that's not hard enough. And that's when the light bulb, the aha the mistake came out and it was wow, I'm doing my clients a disservice. I'm not using my voice. I need to truly step up and speak for them and be proactive for patients. If I'm going to put it on my website and I need to do it, I don't need to just write it. And I have changed my perception of how to handle and work for patients to prevent them from having harm. And I'm doing that in ways of being on your podcast, something I've never done before, you know, public speaking and something fun.

Krista Hughes (4m 22s):

I've just done. As of recent, as I have started a second part to my company and I'm offering the first and only coaching course for patients only, it was written for patients with patients in mind with patient experiences, you know, there's courses everywhere right now and the virtual world because of COVID and everything is tailored towards a course for healthcare workers or how to be a better advocate or, you know, health and wellness. I cannot find anything that truly, truly you sit down and you teach a patient how to take control of their health.

Krista Hughes (5m 7s):

What does that look like? And there's so much information on the internet. I mean, information overload and my goal as an advocate and now as a coaching advocate is to give them the right tools to transform their lives. Not just give them a bunch of information.

Mark Graban  (5m 29s):

Yeah. So let, let's dig deeper into your story of, you know, the hospital replying to the issues that you were raising in a way that sounds dismissive at, you know, w w you know, kind of let's step back, you know, maybe through that story. And first off, you know, a question for you, why do patients need an advocate? Like, just for example, from what I know about the healthcare system, my wife and I, and I think this extends to her parents and to mine, we sort of this pact. If we have to be hospitalized, nobody gets left alone ever. That means we're there as family, or we'll hire an advocate to be there with us. But, you know, with that setting the stage, w why, why do patients need an advocate?

Mark Graban  (6m 13s):

Or why should they have one?

Krista Hughes (6m 16s):

Here's an example. And literally, I just added this to my website. Last night, I found a video I did about two years ago about stroke awareness. You know, I did this Calm video on what is it? What do you look for signs? How do you handle it? I, you know, I teach all this all the time. And in October, my dad had a stroke and when it happened, I froze, didn't know what to, I was like, what do I do? I can tell you as an advocate, what to do over and over in my sleep. And when it happened. And just like I tell my clients, when they get diagnosed with cancer, you hear the Charlie Brown syndrome.

Krista Hughes (6m 59s):

They'll walk you here, you go into fight or flight. And I remember just walking around my house pacing, but not going in any direction. And my best friend was like, let's get Krista, you're an advocate. I'm going to put your tools and techniques. And, and she had to walk me and calm me back down to literally at one point, she was like, are you leaving your house with shoes on your feet? The importance is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. It doesn't matter your education level when something traumatic happens to you, it doesn't mean that you're not smart. It just means there's a lot of moving parts. There's a lot of emotion. There's a lot of emotion.

Krista Hughes (7m 39s):

And if you don't have an advocate to help you navigate calm you down, you know, I always tell my clients, I'm not emotion emotionally involved. I'm remove them in the situation. So I, in my opinion, that's what makes it important is even myself personally, just three months ago, had no idea what to do, and I've been doing this.

Mark Graban  (8m 1s):

So, I mean, when you're talking about the need for an advocate or the way that people get blindsided or sidetracked or thrown out of sorts by medical news, or having to navigate this, I mean, are there times where you've had doctors or nurses as clients of yours at being an advocate for them to navigate it from a patient side?

Krista Hughes (8m 21s):

I actually do. And I've had a nurse and, and it's funny doctors, 90% of the doctors I'll work with absolutely not only love working with an advocate. They say that I helped with reduced errors. They say, especially because of COVID, I have heard, do you know how much burden you have taken off my plate? I have a client that has a cancer diagnosis. And literally just last week, Hey, on the phone said, where's the advocate. I'm not talking, is she on the phone? I'm not talking to y'all unless the advocates on phone, they see our value and they, and the active role.

Krista Hughes (9m 2s):

So yes, I have had a doctor I've had a nurse. And then of course, the doctors I work with are, they know, we know how to talk the language, you know, it's quick, it's easy, you know, and they liked that. And I coordinate care. You know, doctors don't have time to coordinate care. That is something I take on. I make sure the right knows what the left is always doing.

Mark Graban  (9m 26s):

Yeah. And so you're talking about errors. I mean, one of the reasons from my perspective to have a patient advocate is to try to help prevent getting caught in the middle of mistakes and errors that that can lead to harm. I mean, I think a lot of the general public, and maybe a lot of the audience here doesn't know, but how prevalent of a problem is this, you know, mistakes and errors that, that lead to harm or death,

Krista Hughes (9m 51s):

I will have to say every single day I have something I'm catching every day, little big insignificant, but sometimes it's, this was not in the medical history. You know, the stroke is not in the medical history. So if this, if this patient goes to the hospital, to the ER, they're not going to know he's had a stroke. And so what if they take him off his eloquence? You know, I report that to a doctor, you know, that that could have been a catastrophe, but I call it. So say that was little. So it's one of those that I have a client that said, how do we, how would we have known this, where you know this, but I don't know this.

Krista Hughes (10m 37s):

So I personally see it daily to the average person. They're not going to notice certain things. Just like, if you murder someone, are you going to handle it all by yourself and go to court and Google, how to be your own attorney. You're going to have someone that that's their niche that you own. They're good enough. They can get you off. You know, why don't you have an advocate I've been told you should have an advocate on your speed. Dial one of my clients. I've trained at them. So, well, that's my hope as an advocate that I teach you so well, you don't need me. And I have a client and she keeps, they keep me on retainer. I have the whole family, the siblings, everybody.

Krista Hughes (11m 21s):

And they keep me just for nine one, one. But she said, you have taught me so many tools that I now know how to own my own health care. That I had no idea what a help right. Was or how to do my patient portal, or what do you mean? These hospital acquired infections. You don't know what you don't know. Knowledge is power. Our profession has started because errors are that bad. And if you don't think they're happening, then you're misleading yourself and you're not educating yourself. And that's not a against doctors. I do not want doctors. I'm against them. They're human. You know, you're doing a podcast on steaks.

Krista Hughes (12m 2s):

We all make some, you know, it takes a village, right?

Mark Graban  (12m 5s):

Yeah. And you're right. I mean, I would emphasize a couple of points. One, the problem is really bad, and this is not just an American problem. This is a worldwide problem. There are different studies and estimates that, that say the third leading cause of death in the United States is medical error. And I, I have a future guest coming up. Who's going to be talking about this from the perspective of being a physician, Dr. David Mayer, he is the CEO of a nonprofit called the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. And he's going to share a personal story of his as a physician. And we're going to talk about things from, from his perspective.

Mark Graban  (12m 45s):

So I think your episode and, and his will go together very nicely, but you know, the second point I wanted to emphasize. So for one big problem, too, it's a systemic problem. And so somebody Dr. Mayer and I talk about when errors and harm occurs, errors and harm occur. I just made a mistake in speaking, when, when harm occurs, it's not because of a bad doctor or a bad pharmacist. These are more often than not systemic problems related to communication, lack of teamwork, lack of coordination, things like that.

Krista Hughes (13m 20s):

And it is, and you know, you, you were talking about MedStar and the patient safety movement, health care. And I see it all the time. And, and it does it, it extremely frustrates me so bad. They deny and defend. They get so defensive, so defensive, and that aggravates me sometimes they're so defensive that they tell stuff that's not even true. And you know, the patient safety movement has a webinar actually tomorrow because they're coming out with a program. I think the program's been around it's called candor. And it is such a problem. Systemic problem in healthcare of delay, deny and defend that they're wanting to implement these amazing programs of empathize transparency.

Krista Hughes (14m 8s):

And how about just a good old, I'm sorry, you know, you, you're doing a podcast about mistakes. We're coming on here talking about hours. Wouldn't it be nice if healthcare would knew all these five years, my mistake is for five years, I've brought harm to a hospital. And instead I've been told no defend my perception not harm enough. It would be so nice because we're all human to hear, Oh my gosh, what can we do to fix it? I'm so sorry. I would, I'm ready to hear that in today's world.

Mark Graban  (14m 46s):

And what can we do to prevent the same thing from happening again? That's where, as an engineer, I'm driven to say, okay, it happened. We're all human systems are bad. That's, that's, that's one level of mistake. But then I know that like, you know, Dr. Mayer and others would talk about, you know, the, the, the harm that comes from unintentional acts, then on top of it lying, denying being defensive, that's an intentional choice. And that, and that's, that's, I, I hate saying that or hearing about it.

Krista Hughes (15m 17s):

And I had a client that literally two days before new years got a devastating diagnosis and, and the spouse had, had just had surgery. And I said, you know, let me handle getting your HIPAA rights so we can get your medical records sent to where you want to go get treatment. And so I called the facility and said, Hey, we need the form sent to the family via email. And I was told, no, that's against the HIPAA, but there have, you know, so, and I went, no, that you're misspoken Ms. Speaking, excuse me, you have to provide three ways. One, two or three, you telling them to come in is not one of the ways by the civil rights, the government, the federal law.

Krista Hughes (16m 3s):

And she told me I was wrong. As a matter of fact, she said, we just had a class this morning about HIPAA rights. And I was like, Oh, okay, well, that's interesting. Cause it's two days before new year's and whoever taught this class, meet them. But I literally said, I need to know, may I have the name of your director? And she said, I don't know it. You don't know her name. Well, could have an email address. I don't know it. And then I said, well, do you realize that you're this person's provider? And what makes me sad is you're arguing, you're delaying care. You're telling false information and who you're hurting is this patient.

Krista Hughes (16m 47s):

You can argue with me to the cows, come home. But at the end of the day, you're still going to have to get these medical records. Why, why argue? Nobody called so delay in care. The next day I leave a message and they call and it was, and I was like, we're, w we're not even start there, like put your feelings about me aside. And she continued to tell me lies about HIPAA, that I sent her the video and said, please go watch it from one minute at 11 minutes and one minute 17. And then you let me know, and they immediately called and apologized and then follow the law.

Krista Hughes (17m 28s):

But why do that? Why lie and cover up and harm a page for your, what did you gain from that is what I don't understand.

Mark Graban  (17m 36s):

Yeah. And then there are a lot of misperceptions about Pippa. I've seen this as a consultant to healthcare organizations. I go through HIPAA training and then I go onsite somewhere. And I hear something where I'm like, I don't think that's really what the law allows or doesn't allow. So it could have been unintentional. Maybe the training, there was a mistake in what was communicated. There was a miss, you know, maybe it just wasn't taught effectively, but I'm going to come back to your story that you told, you know, Kevin at the beginning there, you know, and again, I know you're not going to use names and this isn't a HIPAA violation to talk about something kind of generally speaking, but what, what types of, can you tell, share a little more detail about the mistakes that you shared with the hospital that led to them saying, well, these are your perceptions.

Mark Graban  (18m 24s):

Like, can you give a little more detail about what led to you as an advocate coming in and sharing this with the health system?

Krista Hughes (18m 31s):

Well, I mean anything like mistakes of appointments? Oh God, that was the biggest mess for a long time. As appointments were, they were putting them on the portal, but not calling the patient. And you have to last, some of these are boomers and they don't do that. So I had cancer patients missing infusion treatments, chemo treatments, and the, the hospital's reporting stuff like, well, they're not checking their portal. I'm not going to call them. And I just, you know, I never go to a hospital to point we're coming after you. It, it it's a collaboration. Like you said, I was getting data from what I'm seeing.

Krista Hughes (19m 13s):

So I wanted to like, Hey, let's share this and make it better. And when I was like, this is happening and people are missing their chemo treatments. Let's acknowledge it. Let's fix it. Let's not cut this patient. Then it was, well, then if they're not gonna go to the portal, one of them, they made them just stop their portal. So now we can no longer use their portal to talk to the doctor. It was just constant, just argumentative with let's just streamline it, make everybody happy. And it's that or where they don't talk to the patient.

Krista Hughes (19m 54s):

You know, I had a doctor, a nurse the other day say, ask a patient. Why are you paying for this advocate that I get that all the time? And I got so angry. I said, do you, did you also ask them how much their shoes cost today? Like you could come to your financial advisor to you have your care team. You have doctors and nurses and radiologists that are with your team. Why don't we get to have and choose our care team? It's our health. It, you work it's my, you really do work for me. I paid tons of money to insurance companies. That it should be a, Oh my gosh, Ms.

Krista Hughes (20m 35s):

Hughes, we welcome your team. You know? And, and it's just, those are errors that just are constant. And then, like you said, the HIPAA, it is, that is a daily issue, a daily violation that happens.

Mark Graban  (20m 50s):

And you're a little bit more Krista about, you know, you said one of your learnings was the lesson was, so I made another mistake there. Learnings is not technically a word, but people use that word. What the lesson you taught, you said that you reflected that you were being too polite. So what, what has that translated into in terms of your approach to, to use your voice, to be a stronger advocate? What, what does that look like? And, and have you started seeing results from that approach now?

Krista Hughes (21m 22s):

Well, I had one of them become a better advocate because it's like, you know, I did start this for the patient. I'm not against the healthcare system, but I started this for a reason that I don't need to be so sensitive and worrying as the healthcare going to get mad at me for speaking out for the patient that has just been harmed or a never event happened or whatever, you know, got a cancer diagnosis. That's my job there. They're paying me their hard earned money because they're hurting. And so I have, so yes, I've grown. I'm speaking out for this patient. It, I realized it was falling on deaf ears, that it, you know, it's going to take a lot to change the healthcare system, but may changing from bringing it to them.

Krista Hughes (22m 11s):

Now I'm arming my patients sufficiently. I'm teaching them to push back to ask the right questions. And then I started this coaching class that I truly want these patients to know when they go to the doctor choosing the right doctor, what is, Knippa how to correct your medical records. Have you ever gotten a copy of your, I have a client that just got his medical records right before Christmas. And it said he was a chronic smoker. He's never smoked, said he was an alcoholic, socially drank, and seven surgeries were on there. He had never had things that I've learned now, instead of like doing the general approach.

Krista Hughes (22m 53s):

And as a private advocate, I kind of spoil my clients and I do all this for them. And they relied on me a little too much, like not my toe. Do I go to the doctor or not that I'm trying to take that whole principle and practice and using my voice to teach my clients. You don't have to be fearful. Don't be disrespectful to doctors, but you also are responsible for owning your care too. And a lot, a lot of boomers just agree. You know, the doctor, I can't push back. Well, yeah, you've gone to them for their niche. They they've earned the right to be called doctor.

Krista Hughes (23m 35s):

But if you don't trust them, your gut dead, their Adamur, doesn't go to someone else. So I'm teaching people that that's okay. Like, so my mistake that I've taught my clients is it's okay to stand up for yourself. What are they going to do? Fire you? If you stand up for yourself, do it respectfully. But I have a client that was misdiagnosed. And now he has cancer all over his body. You can't take that back. So if you don't use your voice and you're too worried, his son asked me when some things went wrong. With this particular case, he said, please don't make them mad. They might hurt my dad. That's the number one thing I hear don't walk.

Krista Hughes (24m 18s):

Well, there, there's going to be more harm. And I said, I'm going to give you, I'm going to ask you something. You have a choice. Do you want me to ruffle their feathers or your dads? And he goes, no. Now if you put it like that, I don't choose my dad. That's what I want people to realize. If you've felt harm, you've got to use your voice. And that's what I've learned. Use your voice be proactive.

Mark Graban  (24m 45s):

So I have a friend of mine who called me with a question. I didn't really know how to answer it. I think you will have a better answer Krista. So, you know, unfortunately his wife was in the hospital getting ready for surgery. And then basically she coded, or he noticed that she was turning blue. Thankfully he was there to notice this, that goes back to my point of don't ever leave me alone in the hospital. So he notified a nurse. They did the right thing. They called the rapid response team. And thankfully she was recovered and she was okay. He couldn't get any information. He wanted to know basically what happened, not just, I mean, thank you for maybe saving her life there, but why did she turn blue?

Mark Graban  (25m 32s):

What needs to be done to prevent it? And nobody would give them answers. And he didn't know how to speak up. Sort of being unhappy about that. What would you recommend or what would an advocate do?

Krista Hughes (25m 44s):

Well, here's what I would do. And I have done, I said earlier, my dad had a stroke in October and Covid only one person could be, you know, with my dad and I had done the night and you know, I'm medical. My mom is very intelligent, but she doesn't know all the, you know, the roles and it was hard with COVID one person. And so we did a swap out. Cause I knew my dad was going to go get an MRI, be back. We, you know, I ask a million questions, so I'd probably ask too much. But I knew we also know that it could take a little longer four and a half hours later.

Krista Hughes (26m 24s):

My mom, what do you mean? You don't know where dad is? No one knew who my dad was. Nobody in the hospital, the nurse, the hospitalist, nobody knew where he was. I freak out. I get a little out. Sometimes I probably should have a better filter up, but I got extremely it's my dad. I don't care if you're mad, not find him. He's had a stroke. He can't speak

Mark Graban  (26m 48s):

Your fight or flight is kicking in.

Krista Hughes (26m 51s):

So we'll know, here's why I actually did the advocate hat and maybe in person. But to your point, when it was done, I knew what to do. I wanted to know why who dropped the ball, where were these tasks? But I just kind of knew how hard to push back that. And it's funny. I had to say some, you have sometimes to go from polite, to like a little passionate to downright. You just gotta be main. Cause that's the only love language they know is to yell. Wow. That eventually then the tests were done. You know, no orders had been put in and sometimes, I mean, it is your right to find out what is going on.

Krista Hughes (27m 35s):

And I just, I mean, I say, I said, I want you to come in here and tell me what happened.

Mark Graban  (27m 40s):

So push back, push harder,

Krista Hughes (27m 43s):

Push harder. Asked for, I asked for the director of quality. I said, I want to know who that, who is in charge of this at the highest level. Sometimes you just got another chain of command who to talk to because what I told them y'all, if y'all don't find my dad and he has had a stroke, he could have been dead in a hallway. And my dad even said I was just sitting there and how they got him back. Cause he got so tired of sitting. He just got up walked. Wow. Wow. So push back. It's it's my dad

Mark Graban  (28m 17s):

Or it's it's yourself if you're advocating for yourself. Yeah,

Krista Hughes (28m 21s):

Correct. So you always start out nice always, but they back to, they work for us. They owe us answers like w where was my dad? You know, did my wife code what led to this? 'cause if, if I'm learning from my favorite mistakes, you've got to recognize them to learn from them. If I was a hospital person in that situation, I'd be like, Oh my gosh, let's figure out. So this never happens to anybody else. Never again.

Mark Graban  (28m 57s):

Right. Exactly. Exactly. So, Chris, I want to ask one other question before we go. And, and just to recap, you know, we're joined today by Krista Hughes, from Hughes advocacy. Another friend of mine last year was diagnosed with a form of cancer and was going through a lot of treatment. And thankfully he is looking like he's, he's back to normal and on a really good path here. So again, let you know, as a friend, and I know he is thankful for the healthcare system. He relied a lot on a lot of these meetings with oncologists and discussions about treatment options, a mutual friend, who is a pediatric specialist, not an oncologist, but a doctor.

Mark Graban  (29m 42s):

And my friend had his doctor friend listening in on a lot of the phone calls and being there for him. And, and I think that was helpful. But my final question for you as a specifically trained patient advocate, what advantage would there be to using a patient advocate over a physician to help navigate all of this?

Krista Hughes (30m 6s):

Well, I mean, even if you don't have an advocate, I always believe you should have multiple ears listening. And the reason I say that is I have a client that has a cancer and both him and his wife. I always, I just do this for myself. I love to ask, what did you hear? Or what did you hear? And then each hear something different. And it's never what even was the moral of the story that the oncology team. So I always think, I don't care. Who's part of your team. You definitely need ears because they're emotionally involved and they're only gonna hear bits and pieces. So I think that's a critical piece, no matter what, but also I, that's funny.

Krista Hughes (30m 47s):

I've had a doctor actually tell me, Oh my gosh, if I hired, I would hire you in a second because you know, the system, you know, policy, you know, HIPAA laws, you know, so many moving parts. I know. And I'll use this just as an example. I know neuro and that's it. I don't know cardio. I don't know, you know how to take to a skill. I don't know, transition. I don't know, coordinating. So that was a compliment to me is from a doctor's perspective is he said you we'd have a niche, but again, I'm just, everybody needs to have some form of advocate, especially cancer diagnosis.

Krista Hughes (31m 27s):

That journey's hard enough, but you know, an advocate does have so much more credentials on what to do to better navigate you. Or like I said, I've got this coaching class. And by the end of it, it, you, you finished with a book so that when you, you know, we all have a fire drill, you know, what do, when there's a fire drill, we just had tornadoes in Alabama. We know when they say tornadoes, you better know where you're, you're a little shelter in place, better be just in case. I think everybody needs that for an advocacy like me with my dad with a stroke, you better have your action plan. And that's what I'm doing as a coach is by the end of each class, you're gonna have like a book.

Krista Hughes (32m 7s):

So if your nine one one happens, it's like, Ooh, page four. I don't care who you are. You've got we're we're human. And healthcare is hard. Healthcare is tough.

Mark Graban  (32m 24s):

It's, it's hard. Again, they do amazing things. And there are so many great individuals, but that can co-exist with broken systems. And that's what I hear from so many different patient safety experts from the physician side or from the advocates. And I see that as an engineer and somebody working in healthcare, there's, there's an old expression that bad systems will defeat good people every time. And we need to help change that.

Krista Hughes (32m 53s):

Yeah. So, and that's the whole talk about it. Bring awareness, remind people, because I tell people all the time, every body is going to get sick. Nobody's immune, everybody's going to get hurt. It doesn't have, I, you know, it, they don't discriminate. And when something devastating happens, it's instant and you just better be either very prepared or have an advocate on speed dial because it's not. If it's when

Mark Graban  (33m 28s):

Well, Krista, thank you so much for sharing, you know, not only your story and your reflections about how to be a better advocate. And I admire, you know, your drive to, to keep getting better. Cause that's what this is all is all about. We don't talk about the mistakes to dwell on them, but hopefully we're learning from them and preventing them in the future. So again, we've been joined by Krista Hughes, CEO of Hughes Advocacy. You can find her website www.hughesadvocacy.com. And then do you have a different website for that other training venture that you mentioned?

Krista Hughes (34m 1s):

No, it is under because it's, you either can do the private or you can do the group it's advocacy either way. Some people, I, one of the main reasons I kind of did it is I get so many calls going. I don't want you to hold my hand. I just want your tips. Well, you can get my tips. So, you know, in some people that have done tips, they now I'm their advocate. So it's under the same heading. It's just the coaching part of it.

Mark Graban  (34m 30s):

Okay. Well, great hope people will check that out, Krista again. Thank you so much for being a guest. Thank you for helping me figure out and working through the couple of little mistakes I made with this new technology I'm using to record these. I really appreciate it.

Krista Hughes (34m 45s):

Hi, what's your podcast about? Mistakes? We all, if you don't think you make mistakes then oh gosh, bless your heart.

Mark Graban  (34m 55s):

And in the South, I know what that means. So just leave. Well just where you want to leave it at that.

Krista Hughes (35m 3s):

Thanks a lot. Have a great day.

Mark Graban (35m 6s):

Thanks for listening. I hope this podcast inspires you to pause and think about your own favorite mistake and how learning from mistakes shapes you personally and professionally. If you're a leader, what can you do to create a culture where it's safe for colleagues to talk openly about mistakes in the spirit of learning, please subscribe, rate, and review the podcast. Our website is myfavoritemistakepodcast.com. See you next time.


Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.