1st Edition

PROPEL to Quality Healthcare Six Steps to Improve Patient Care, Staff Engagement, and the Bottom Line

By Thomas M Muha, Martha Murphy Copyright 2018
    290 Pages
    by Productivity Press

    290 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    290 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Productivity Press

    You got into healthcare because you wanted to help people, but quickly discovered providing high-quality care is challenging. Seemingly impossible demands are placed on you and your team. Some coworkers are constantly complaining; others are in their silos doing only what they must to get through the long days. Collaboration is often lacking, and patients suffer the painful consequences. It’s easy to become overloaded with work and overwhelmed with negativity.

    This is not how the healthcare profession has to be. There is a new science – Positive Psychology – that studies how people are able to perform extraordinarily well in challenging situations. After a dozen years of research in prestigious medical centers, an evidence-based method for applying this science has been developed. That six step program is PROPEL.

    You will read stories illustrating the experiences of doctors, nurses and administrators who learned to use PROPEL to transform their professional life (and, for many, their personal life as well). You will learn how they were able to attain remarkable results with their teams, units and clinics:

    • Staff callout and FMLA decreased 75%

    • Wait times for chemotherapy infusion reduced 6 hours

    • Staff turnover dropped 80%

    • Pediatric MRI scheduling driven down from 14 weeks to 10 days

    • Bone marrow transplant procedures increased by 50%

    • ED diversion due to psychiatric patient boarding virtually eliminated

    • Patient fall rate cut by 70%

    • Use of agency and travelers nurses abolished

    • Patient satisfaction scores up 50%

    The cumulative impact to the bottom line has been calculated to be millions of dollars. The most meaningful measure of PROPEL’s success, however, comes from the thousands of dedicated professionals who have expressed heartfelt gratitude for having learned how to recapture their joy for working in healthcare.

    Foreword. Introduction. Why Positive Work Environments Matter. Modern Times. Positive Psychology. It's the Culture Darling. A Tale of Two Units. Stuck. The Drill Sergeant. The Coach. How to PROPEL High Performance in Hospitals. Passion. Relationships. Optimism. Proactivity. Energy. Legacy. Action Plans. PROPEL Yourself. PROPEL Your Workplace.


    Dr. Tom Muha is Director of The PROPEL Institute. As the science of optimal human functioning has emerged, he has become a leading practitioner of Positive Psychology. His mission is to be at the forefront in the study of how people involved in healthcare systems can achieve the highest levels of success and satisfaction.

    Over 15 years of research has enabled Dr. Muha to demonstrate the efficacy of the PROPEL program. PROPEL to Quality Healthcare provides the six step formula that over 100 units, clinics, and leadership teams have used to improve patient care, staff engagement, and the bottom line.

    Teaching leaders and staff to use the PROPEL positive psychology principles has also been shown to significantly counter the effects of stress and burnout. Medical professionals report enhanced life satisfaction, loving relationships, job enjoyment, and work-life balance.

    Dr. Muha has been a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at some of the world’s top healthcare organizations, including the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Sigma Theta Tau, American Organization of Nurse Executives, Magnet Recognition Pathways to Excellence, and HeathStream’s Healthcare Summit.

    Dr. Muha earned his doctoral degree in psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. He is the founder of The PROPEL Institute, LLC. He has written a weekly newspaper column focusing on Positive Psychology for the Capital Gazette newspaper chain for over 25 years.

    "I worked with PROPEL for years. It’s amazing to me what these principles can do to engage a multidisciplinary healthcare team. The units who used PROPEL saw results such as: increased employee engagement scores, decreased falls, and decreased turnover. People started coming to work happy to be there instead of dreading the issues that were bound to come up. PROPEL changed the way that our teams viewed and solved problems. Problems became an opportunity to improve and collaborate rather than a way of bringing the team down. Staff started supporting each other and work became more like family. I’m now the Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer at GBMC Healthcare and have already brought PROPEL to this organization because I know about the positive changes it creates."

    -JoAnn Z. Ioannou, DNP, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, Senior Vice President - Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, GBMC HealthCare

    "A must read for health care leaders desiring enhanced team work and improved outcomes. PROPEL principles artfully distills essential positive psychology elements and offers efficient techniques; converting theory to action.In this enjoyable read, Thomas Muha, PhD unlocks a pathway to peak performance, accessible even to the busiest professional."

    -Brooke Buckley, MD FACS, MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, President 2015-2016, Anne Arundel Medical Center, Chief, Division of General Surgery, Medical Director, Acute Care Surgery

    "Tom Muha has written a very important book that should be mandatory reading for anyone involved in health care. It combines scholarly research findings with practical advice and strategies for both personal flourishing and organizational success. Given the importance and centrality of health care in our society and around the world, this work is sure to make a significant impact for the better."