Systemic Hesitancy

March 20 2023
By: Shawn M. Galloway

Last week, while preparing to start a workshop for the leadership of a client organization, a call went out for internal emergency response personnel to respond to chest pains. A quick call to the emergency response team leader prompted a frustrated conversation among the leaders. Systemic Hesitancy Ambulance"Why won't they call for an ambulance first, then the EMT? I know they are worried about cost, but the few minutes difference could save their life!"

Coincidentally upon arriving home, I had a medical bill in the mail. In July of 2022, one of my kids had a routine doctor's appointment. After vitals were taken, a typical beginning for appointments like this, she was placed in the emergency room due to a high resting heart rate despite appearing normal. The hospital's ER didn't have a pediatric cardiologist, so it was recommended she be moved by ambulance half a mile away to a Children's Hospital.

Despite being unable to determine what was causing the issue, the Doctors estimated a symptom of long COVID. She recovered and is currently healthy. The bill I received for this .4 miles of transportation? $3,289.75!

Systemic Hesitancy Invoice

For too many families in America, this unexpected cost begins a dire financial situation and becomes a tragic demotivator to never call upon an ambulance again. Research shows because of these costs, hesitancy to call upon an ambulance is systemic1. Making it easy to make the safe choice to prevent injuries and illnesses is essential. The decision to make the safe choice to respond or recover when injured or ill is just as crucial. Change in healthcare costs is desperately needed.

Within your organization, what makes it easy to make the safe choice? What makes it difficult? If one person is influenced to behave otherwise, others are likely as well. Seek out what might create systemic hesitancy within your organization and work to minimize or remove those demotivators. Lives depend on it.

"On an important decision one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits. And, if one waits too long, he has a different problem and has to start all over. This is the terrible dilemma of the hesitant decision maker." — Robert K. Greenleaf

"Hesitation, second thoughts, false intuition, unjustified fears, worries of failure, the list of self-created barriers is endless." — Steven Redhead

"Hesitation increases in relation to risk in equal proportion to age." — Ernest Hemingway


Shawn M. Galloway

Shawn M. Galloway is CEO of the global consultancy ProAct Safety. He is a trusted advisor, professional keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books on safety strategy, culture, leadership, and behavior-based safety. He is a monthly columnist for several magazines and one of the most prolific contributors in the industry, having also authored over 700 podcasts, 200 articles, and 100 videos. Shawn has received awards and recognition for his significant contributions from the American Society of Safety Professionals, National Safety Council's Top 40 Rising Stars and Top Ten Speakers, EHS Today Magazine's 50 People Who Most Influenced EHS, ISHN Magazine's POWER 101 - Leaders of the EHS World and their newest list: 50 Leaders for Today and Tomorrow, Pro-Sapien's list of The Top 11 Health and Safety Influencers and is an Avetta Distinguished Fellow.

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