Difficult Conversations Podcast
Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician
Episode 176 | September 5, 2022
Monitoring Physician Wellness for Patient Safety
Strategic Advisor, Healthcare and Life Sciences
Welcome to Difficult Conversations with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Our guest today is my friend, Ellen Reilly, who is an industry leader focused on the intersection of healthcare, technology, and data. She’s the Global Head of Healthcare and Life Sciences at WHOOP, a company that debuted in 2015,. Ellen has led large organizations in driving change to transform and simplify business processes while delivering bottom line measurable benefits. This is another part of a long series about physician wellness, and we’re going to build upon a previous episode with guest, Brian Ferguson. Brian is doing real important work with WHOOP. As always, Dr. Orsini keeps his promise about two things, that you will feel inspired, and you will have learned valuable lessons to be a better and more compassionate communicator.
Ellen tells us her background and how she ended up at WHOOP. We find out what WHOOP does and why it is unique in the industry. Dr. Orsini tells us that agreed to be on the Healthcare Advisory Board for WHOOP because he was so impressed with what it does, and he shares what he loves about it. There are a lot of hospitals that are doing some studies right now with WHOOP and Ellen shares some of those studies with us. We also hear about the type of data consumers and healthcare workers use to understand the impact of such factors as alcohol, smoking, and caffeine, and how it changes their behaviors and recovery. Ellen tells us how people are using WHOOP to measure things such as the strain of stress. Ms Reilly explains how WHOOP helped her improve her life in a positive way by using it every day. Also, we learn how WHOOP could be used for real time data to make people aware of how outside factors effect their own wellness. Dr. Orsini and Ellen discuss the major impact Whoop can have on physician wellness, professional burnout and ultimately patient safety. Ellen tells us the most difficult conversation she’s had in her life and shares advice how she navigated through it. We end with learning where Ellen sees WHOOP going in the future. If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. Go ahead and download this episode now!
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Ellen Reilly (1s):
We’re seeing more and more people saying, I want to understand the stress of my employees. I want to understand what that cardiovascular load, I’m preparing for a meeting, and I’m not prepared. It puts stress on your body. And just like at healthcare employee, you may not have run that marathon, but you may be stressed because of patients died because you don’t have to care for them. You’ve got something going on with your family members, like that puts impact on your body. That you’re not necessarily able to perform the way you need to, to do whatever task is in front of you.
Welcome to Difficult Conversations: Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician with Dr. Anthony Orsini. Dr. Orsini is a practicing physician and president and CEO of The Orsini Way. As a frequent keynote speaker and author, Dr. Orsini has been training healthcare professionals and business leaders how to navigate through the most difficult dialogues. Each week you will hear inspiring interviews with experts in their field who tell their story and provide practical advice on how to effectively communicate. Whether you are a doctor faced with giving a patient bad news, a business leader who wants to get the most out of his or her team members or someone who just wants to learn to communicate better, this is the podcast for you.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (1m 23s):
Well, Welcome to another episode of Difficult Conversations Lessons I Learned as an ICU Physician. This is Dr. Anthony Orsini, and I’ll be your host again today. Well, today I have very special guest because not only is she awesome and, you’re going to hear all about her. We have a great topic, a project that we’re involved in together, but she was also my neighbor for many years and is still a friend. So I’m really excited. You’re going to absolutely love her today. Our guest is Ellen Reilly. She’s an industry leader that’s focused on the intersection of healthcare technology and data. Ellen is the global head of healthcare and life sciences at Whoop. And which we’ll talk about today. That’s a company that debuted in 2015.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (2m 5s):
Many of you might be familiar with the Whoop strap, which is a wrist-worn device that continuously tracks biomarkers. And we’ll talk about that later. She’s led large organizations in driving change to transform and simplify business processes while delivering bottom line measurable benefits. And prior to group, she was the VP of global technology partnerships at IQ via, and Ellen has worked in a variety of pharmaceuticals. So she’s also very well aware of the healthcare industry and besides industry experience, she’s partnered with pairing point PWC consulting, as well as healthcare and life sciences business at DocuSign. She is a graduate of LaSalle university, which if you were Facebook friends, you’ll see how involved she is with that.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (2m 50s):
And very proud of that. And her bachelor’s science is in computer science. And then what the Drexel Lebow school to receive her MBA. So very well qualified to talk about the topic today. This is another part of a long series about physician wellness. And we’re going to really build upon what we had talked about with Brian Ferguson. We mentioned Whoop a little bit and we’re just excited to have her. So, Ellen, thank you so much.
Ellen Reilly (3m 16s):
Thanks Tony. Excited to spend some time with you.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (3m 19s):
See, I moved out in 2014. What year did you move to North Caldwell?
Ellen Reilly (3m 25s):
Dr. Anthony Orsini (3m 26s):
Okay. So 12 years we were neighbors and we’ve kept in touch. It’s been great. Our dogs have the same name, it just Quintin’s right. Two pennies
Ellen Reilly (3m 36s):
Here in the office.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (3m 38s):
Oh boy. That’s awesome. All right, penny, how are you, Ellen? I don’t know if you know this, but Lauren and I call you the Energizer bunny. You probably have that name many, many times because you’re constantly moving. I don’t know if you ever rest, I follow you on Facebook or when we talk, you’re always somewhere. You do so much work with Drexel. You’re just all over the world, not only in business, you just have fun. So you’re great guest, but tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up and how you ended up with Whoop right now, because that’s what we’re really going to talk about today.
Ellen Reilly (4m 11s):
Sure. I grew up outside of Philadelphia. My father would bring us to Philadelphia to watch big five basketball games. So growing up, so there was no way I wasn’t going to a big five school for college, LaSalle. I hadn’t stands end up in pharmaceuticals. I applied for a job and found out I was going to work for war pharmaceuticals, making quaaludes after college. And then I really fell in love. I loved science. I loved biology. My mom used to help us dissect frogs. So the intersection of technology and data and science has really been what my career is about and evolving that and ending up at Whoop where it is about data and technology and how do we really help disrupt healthcare.
Ellen Reilly (4m 60s):
So I think the journey went all different ways, but I think it all came together. My experience at IQVIA, the biggest data provider and clinical trials organization in the world, coupled with working in pharma and doing consulting. I just think it’s all coming together.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (5m 16s):
So if I remember correctly, when you told me you’re pretty much at the point of your career where you were thinking that you’re going to start to slow down, which I don’t think is possible for you, by the way, but you were thinking about slowing down and then there’s something about Whoop that just was perfect for you, right?
Ellen Reilly (5m 29s):
Yeah. I worked with Mark McLaughlin. Who’s the chief business officer really setting up the enterprise and business to business. I had worked with him at DocuSign and I had brought DocuSign’s product to healthcare and life sciences organizations. There’s a lot of regulations around signatures and privacy and he and I had crossed paths there. And when he was talking to whoop, he was like, what do you know about the ability for physiological data? How can it help change healthcare? And we really started to talk about, you know, it’s an opportunity, not only in clinical trials and the Adventist decentralized trials and patient engagement, and really just taking that data and to your really focused point, Tony around doctors know alot about the human body, that they don’t always look in the mirror, look at about their own data, about their own human body.
Ellen Reilly (6m 25s):
And it’s really training a spotlight on that. Or how can that data really change healthcare both from a patient perspective, as well as a self-care perspective.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (6m 35s):
So there’s a lot of people out there that know, Whoop, because I was just a way it wasn’t Detroit for some business and I must saw Whoops, everywhere. This is not video, but I have mine on now. And I’m sure you have yours on, but give us a few sentences on what the Whoop is just in case people don’t know what it is.
Ellen Reilly (6m 53s):
Yeah. So it’s really just a simple device that collects a lot of specific data. Your heart rate, your heart rate, variability, your sleep respiratory rate. It collects that data without really trying to impact your body. In other ways like there’s no watch on it. There’s no heat. It’s really on oppressive. It stays on you 24 by seven. So you can charge it while it’s on your wrist. So you’re not losing data. What it does is it, our app has a coaching capability really say, what kind of behaviors do we need to change for you to bring the best of yourself every day?
Ellen Reilly (7m 33s):
Whether it’s around your diet, your exercise, alcohol consumption, doing mindfulness exercises, resonance, breathing, like what are all the things that work to really change your behavior? My favorite story, Tony talking about penny. So my husband and I always joke. I always said, when the dog sleeps in the bed, I sleep better and he’s like, no way. That’s not true. Well, I now have empirical data that says when penny sleeps in the room, my REM and my sleep is so much deeper and better. So I’m able to prove that. So therefore penny gets to stay in the bed. How’s that ?
Dr. Anthony Orsini (8m 10s):
In full disclosure. I do need to tell the audience that I am on the healthcare advisory board for Whoop, because I was so impressed with it. Ellen told me about it and plays well. I’m sure people will go and look it up further, but it gives you basically monitors your strain during the day and then your recovery while you sleep. And I think it’s really cool to be able to see in the morning that when I start my day, that I’m 33% recovered or seventy-five percent recovered, Brian Ferguson, who we had on about a year ago, talked about how he’s doing some research with surgeons to look at their recovery and came up with some interesting, very preliminary data that basically said, if you think about it makes common sense that you know, the surgeons on Fridays are much less recovered than they are on Monday.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (8m 56s):
And so that’s an important decision that might need to know. I’d say about 75% of our audience is healthcare and another 25% of business. And many of those healthcare people are physicians and I’m a physician. So I can tell you that what’s exciting about this is that it takes the subjectivity out of whether you are recovered or not. I don’t think I’m going to surprise any physicians or hurt any physician’s feelings. When I tell them that we as physicians have big egos and we had Dike Drummond on who is a expert in physician burnout. And he talked about how physicians have this S on their chest and this big Superman, and I can do anything.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (9m 38s):
And I remember when I first started out before they had the blue laws of how long you can work, it was a badge of honor that, you know, I worked 36 straight hours without sleep. Well, I worked 40 hours without sleep, you know? And then it starts getting, oh, I haven’t slept in two years. You know? And this is in, we bragged about that was kind of like when your dad tells you, he walked uphill both ways. But when I was an intern at Coney island hospital, I routinely went in on a Monday, came home Tuesday night, went in on a Wednesday, came home Thursday night and you felt it, but it was the theory then was, well, if you to do it when you’re tired, then you probably can do it when you’re not tired. I’m not so sure that’s sound theory because what happens to all the people that you’re doing it when we were tired.
Ellen Reilly (10m 23s):
And TV shows like really would highlight that like you would watch ER, or the Navy or Grey’s anatomy and they’re sleeping in that they go and sleep for an hour between long shifts. I mean, it was celebrated instead of saying, wow, does this really help patient care? Does this help a nurse or a doctor do a better job that they are working really long shifts? And I think the pandemic, I mean, Tony, the biggest thing that got to me was that cover of Time magazine, seeing doctors and nurses on the front frontline during the pandemic, just overwhelmed, you know, Lorna Breen committed suicide, that beautiful doctor at NYU Presby.
Ellen Reilly (11m 4s):
It’s like, that’s really what resonated to me of why that’s not okay to mental health and sleep are really important. And it really affects the mental health of our healthcare workers. And they’re going to be in short supply, you’re looking at workforce labor statistics, the amount of doctors and nurses are saying, do I really want to do this? And if their mental health isn’t being looked after by society and in hospital administration, then we’re doing ourselves in justice.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (11m 34s):
Yeah. We had Michael Meyers on, it was a psychologist who specializes in physician, depression, burnout, et cetera, and very famous wrote an awesome book, why physicians commit suicide. And he talked a lot about that. That one physician commit suicide in the United States every day. That’s the highest suicide rate ever. And a lot of that is that you’d have that big S on your chest and he don’t want to admit that you’re wrong and you’re tired. And so what I love about the potential of the Whoop and there’s other things out there we’re really focused on, I just recently took a position as the chief wellness officer, myself. What I love about it is that I said it takes away the subjectivity. And so if you ask any physician before they go into an operating room, or before they take a shift, are you okay to practice at your peak performance?
Dr. Anthony Orsini (12m 24s):
0% will say, no, I just tell you that they’re not going to admit that they’re going to be afraid that their colleagues are gonna think that they’re weak. And they were kind of told that they should work these 48 hour shifts. But I really see the future of this in medicine. And we’ll talk about for other people, as, you know, let me see your data and Jayco and other accreditations will say, well, maybe a doctor is not going to be allowed to do a shift. If he or she is at 30% recovery and deep down inside Ellen, that’s going to be a great thing for doctors because now they can say, now we can act like, well, I could have done it.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (13m 6s):
I could have done it with data. They won’t let me do it. You know, there’s bold, but you know, I could have thought it, but deep down inside, they’re going, thank God. Cause I really wasn’t prepared to do that. So I think it’s got a lot of potential. There are a lot of major hospitals that are doing some studies on it right now. Can you tell us some of those that are in some of the studies that are going on?
Ellen Reilly (13m 24s):
Sure. So we’re doing a thousand person study with new CSF and Las Palmas hospital, which is a division of HCA. And we’re really looking at the data and really understanding and the coaching of those frontline healthcare workers. We’re also doing some work with the Powell MD, which is an outsourcing venture capital business, which supplies, doctors, hospital systems. And you have shift workers. This isn’t just frontline healthcare workers, you’re working shifts. So a lot of times you can’t change your shift or you have to work overnight. And so your circadian rhythms are disrupted it’s how do we help you through better ways of sleeping and doing things so that you can bring your best to your job?
Ellen Reilly (14m 13s):
So it doesn’t impact the patient.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (14m 16s):
And I think we’re a long way to get to that point. But once we do get to the point, I think this will really, really help. There’s a lot of data out there and maybe we’re doing something with this. There’s a lot of data out there looking at life expectancy from people who work days, people who work nights to people who work rotating shifts and not just the healthcare of a police officers, fire department, factory workers. Is that something that Whoop is looking at too? It has to be really interesting to see what the average recovery is from somebody who works all day compared to the hours people work all night. Cause we know they sleep much less.
Ellen Reilly (14m 54s):
Yeah. I don’t think specifically we’d done that comparison yet, but it sounds like something I should put on the roadmap that would make it pretty interesting. We have a lot of data from our consumers and now healthcare workers. And as you can imagine, the goal is getting people to look at the impact of when they drink alcohol or when they smoke or when they have caffeine. And if they change those behaviors, does it positively help their sleep or their performance, or going back to your point about your recovery. And we do see where people where Whoop and collecting that data and they listen to the coaching, they do change their behavior.
Ellen Reilly (15m 36s):
I know the difference when I have one glass of wine versus two glasses of wine, my sleep really gets disruptive and we all know that we all take science classes and know that alcohol is going to impact your sleep. But when the data is right there in your face saying, you know, yeah, two glasses versus one glass, how close it was to bedtime. You see the numbers and as a scientist, you have can’t maybe that shouldn’t have that second glass of wine or maybe I should go to happy hour and do it a dinner.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 6s):
Yeah. A lot of people out there that think alcohol makes you sleep better. We know that it does that last night was Lauren and I’s anniversary and wait over to a restaurant. Cause we knew we were going to have some drinks. And so I had a couple of bourbons and my whoop this morning told me that I did not sleep well.
Ellen Reilly (16m 27s):
And it’s pretty hard to fight that you look at the data and you go, okay, nobody’s saying you shouldn’t drink or you shouldn’t do those things, but should you maybe do a brain surgery that next day? Maybe not. Or maybe you should think about when you do those things. And so I think that’s the guidance and hope impacts people’s behavior.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (16m 48s):
Yeah. I know you’re in the healthcare division, but a lot of people are using this for training purposes or if they’re just to get healthy, I mean the industry and gyms and people working out and running and et cetera, it calculates your strain. And by looking at your heart rate variability, the variability and all that, would you say that that’s the majority of people that are using Whoop right now?
Ellen Reilly (17m 7s):
I think it was, I think strain is not just running a marathon or running up the empire state building strain could be you’re in the middle of a really stressful meeting. I will tell you my highest strain. I was at a fundraiser and my mother fell in the bathroom and she asked for help. And I went in and she was on the ground. That’s the highest strain. My Whoop calculated was a 20. I was stressed. So we’re seeing more and more people saying, I want to understand the stress of my employees. I want to understand what that cardiovascular load I’m preparing for a meeting and not prepared.
Ellen Reilly (17m 50s):
It puts stress on your body and just like healthcare employee. You may not have run that marathon, but you may be stressed because a patient’s died because you don’t have to care for them. You’ve got something going on with your family members. Like that puts impact on your body, that you are not necessarily able to perform the way you need to, to do whatever task is in front of you.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (18m 15s):
Yeah. We do often overlook the strain that’s involved with just stress and our everyday stressful things that happen in life. I’ve kind of been looking at that. It gets kind of great. It comes on your phone. And so I’m having an extremely stressful day. It doesn’t have to be at work. It can be whatever, something personal, you look at your iPhone and it says your strain is really up there. And so it’s kind of amazing that it can, by using heart rate variability and other biomarkers, that it can tell you that you’re having a stressful day and it can tell you from personal it’s it correlates pretty darn good. The other thing it’s done for me is I’m 58 years old and I just had a hip replacement, but now I’m all better.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (18m 55s):
But I got to tell you, my exercise is really abysmal. I am just so busy. I’m always in front of the computer. And I kind of look at my stream when I’m doing exercise as a little badge of honor, the other day my son and I played golf and I was really mad because it was golf cart.
Ellen Reilly (19m 11s):
Yeah. We’re having the same problem. There’s no rain anywhere. So it’s a lot of work to go back from the cart to your ball. It’s in the woods.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (19m 21s):
And I play with my son-in-law and some other good golfers and golf path, all laid for those golfers out there. You’re a good golfer. It’s not a big deal. Cause you’re just driving up the walk through your ball. But if you play like may where your balls all the way to the left, that all the way to the right. I said to TJ, I walking more than if I just walked the path. And so
Ellen Reilly (19m 42s):
Friday, and it was car path only am I stream was 18. You’re up and down Hills. You’re looking for your fall. You picked the wrong club. You didn’t take. So yeah, you can see it and you go, wow, that was a lot of work.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (19m 59s):
And so I was very angry during the whole 18 holes that it was car path all the way. But then I looked at my Whoop afterwards and I go, oh, we’ve got a 17. So you know what? That’s a good 17, it’s not a stress 17. And then you’d look at your monthly thing and you’re like, oh, okay. Now I got, so it kind of gives you on the other hand, it also gives you some incentive to actually do some work. And I think that this is probably the future of all of our health care and non-intrusive right. So you’re not doing DNAs and you’re not doing a whole bunch of tests. You can kind of monitor yourself. And I think it’s funny that people are monitoring their alcohol intake. Oh one glass is good. I slept better with one glass.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (20m 40s):
So now I drink a glass
Ellen Reilly (20m 41s):
We’re doing differently from the other wearables out there too is you can wear it on your bicep and your healthcare or surgeon, or you can’t have things on your wrist. And we have it in clothing too. So if you don’t want to wear it on any of your extremities, you can wear a bra or underwear. So I think this technology is going to continue to evolve. As people say, this data can give me feedback to my body and what can I do to help change my life experience?
Dr. Anthony Orsini (21m 12s):
What do you think is the best for you personally? You probably been wearing your native wearing a lot longer than me. What do you think the best thing that it’s helped you do to change your life in a positive way by using it every day?
Ellen Reilly (21m 24s):
Well, I think my sleep like thrill the annual south beach party on Saturday and I recovery was really bad. I didn’t sleep well. I had some alcohol and last night I was in bed by 10 o’clock the night before I was in bed, like said, Ellen, you need to go to bed between these hours to get back your sleep debt. And the last three nights I’ve been in bed early. So I think the sleep side, I think the exercise side, like I had a really bad flight back from somewhere. And I had a meeting that I had been working for months to set up. And my recovery was like 22% because the flight was delayed, Lada getting back into Newark.
Ellen Reilly (22m 6s):
I did not do well in that meeting. I did not perform well. I was not prepared. I wasn’t articulate. It was painful. And I should’ve just moved the meeting and said, you know, I don’t feel well or something came up good news is it didn’t hurt me. Long-term from a business perspective. But definitely the data has definitely said, Ellen, you are not at your best and you shouldn’t be doing this. And that’s when you make mistakes and I’m not in there doing life saving surgery or trying to administer some physiological test to a patient. But I can only imagine that doctors and nurses and physician assistants and that information could help them make that decision and say, maybe I shouldn’t be doing this or maybe I should let somebody else do it.
Ellen Reilly (22m 51s):
And that Superman mentality that you talk about Tony made that will give them the license to say it’s okay for somebody else to pick it up.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (23m 1s):
Yeah. I just gave up pretty important keynote speech Monday in Detroit to a bunch of business leaders. And now that I’m getting used to using my Whoop, I really paid attention to Sunday night. I flew in on Sunday. I knew that my speech, I had to be there at 9:00 AM. I knew that I was experienced some stress because it was a particularly important feature because I’m speaking more to business people now than to healthcare. And so I kept glancing at my Whoop to say, what time is it? Should I go to bed? Because I really was aware that, and it’s usually earlier than you’d think, you know, normally I wouldn’t think about go to bed before 11, but it was 9 35. And my Whoop goes time to go to bed.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (23m 42s):
I’m like really? 9:35, but I submitted what they had more like 10, 15, but I woke up and I was 75% recovered and I was ready to go. And so I think the implications for the average person and you’re right for me, I worked with a little premature babies. I’m not allowed to wear any jewelry, right. They track gems. And so I get into the hospital in the morning and I’d change it very quickly. It takes two seconds to put it on my bicep and then I wear it on the bicep. And then when I get home, I put it back on my wrist because I can’t sleep with the bicep on. It’s just annoying. So I put it back on my wrist. So it’s got great implications and people out there might be saying right now, what does this have to do with Difficult Conversations? Cause that’s the title of this podcast and we’re going to get to that.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (24m 24s):
But really it is a difficult conversation. It’s a conversation about our own wellbeing that we don’t want to have with ourselves. As I always say many conversations that are difficult are conversations with ourselves. And it’s a difficult conversation because we’re still pushing this narrative about doctors and nurses with the burnout and how we can help them with that. There’s wellness programs going on all over the country. As I said, I just took a position as the chief wellness officer. And we could use this whoop for real data just to first make people aware of their own wellness. And then maybe somewhere down the line, then the real future would be to take that subjectivity out of whether you can work or not. In the meantime, why we’re working on this and doing this, maybe get more, try to attract more doctors and nurses into the fields, physicians assistants, nurse practitioners, so that we have that actually doctor where we have somebody who’s, can’t perform at their best.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (25m 14s):
We can say it’s time to fill in or et cetera. So I don’t know if I warned you about this one Ellen, but sometimes I will. Don’t warn people about this question because I’m kind of testing to see if they’ve listened to my other podcasts, but you’ve been in business many, many years. You’ve been a boss. And my keynote on Monday was having difficult conversations in business and how we navigate through those with poise and ease. And you have such a great personality and I’m sure you’re good at it, but tell me what’s the, to be a personal life, to what’s the most difficult conversation you’ve had in your life and give us some advice on how you navigated through that.
Ellen Reilly (25m 53s):
I was 27 years old and I was a manager and I had a Vietnam war vet working for me. And he had been a helicopter pilot in Vietnam and he worked like an old woven tie and he wore short sleeve shirt that was made out of polyester and he didn’t have a lot of money. I knew he had a couple children and his wife wasn’t working. So I knew how much he made. And I was working for a pharmaceutical company and pharmaceutical executives dress well, they spend money on clothing. It’s very much about image and people weren’t listening to this guy in meetings. And that was when you wore shirts and ties and meetings and they weren’t listening to him.
Ellen Reilly (26m 36s):
And it wasn’t because of his content. It was because how he dressed, they just looked at is this guy I had to sit and here on 27, single my income is just for myself. And I had to sit down and tell somebody that what they’re wearing is impacting somebody, hearing their message. And telling him nicely and trying to tell that story. So that just investing in a crisp white cotton shirt, a new tie, doing a delicate, that was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever had to tell somebody is because they weren’t listening to him just because how he looked. And hopefully, society has evolved since those conversations.
Ellen Reilly (27m 18s):
But boy, that was a really hard thing for me as a young manager, to tell somebody and he didn’t, and it did change the way people listen to him,
Dr. Anthony Orsini (27m 27s):
Give us some insight on how you are now. You’re getting ready to make this conversation, have this conversation. You’re taking your deep breath. How’d you navigate through it? Any tips you can give us?
Ellen Reilly (27m 37s):
I practiced. I really mean practices really important. Many of us tend to have conversations that are spontaneous or say, I can go into this, but I practiced. I practiced on the story and how I was going to tell that story with my roommate at the time saying, okay, this, I didn’t want him to be uneasy about it. I didn’t want him to feel less than a person just because, I mean, I know I didn’t have a lot of money. Practice is really important, especially when I know you talk about that in some of your podcasts, only even the training you do, giving doctors a breaking bad news. I think that practice is important as we have some of those Difficult Conversations.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (28m 21s):
That’s really, dead-on great advice. We developed the acronym, what I teach doctors and business people that are going into a COVID. They will do a little improv going just like you said, well, I might use that one here. There’s a scene. I want you to go tell them. But the P the acronym is program and the P is for plan or practice. I mean, it is absolutely amazing to me that when I ask people during my workshops, all right, you’re getting ready to go into this difficult conversation, speak to this Vietnam Vet about his wardrobe. What was your plan when you went in and they’ll say, what do you mean? Like your plan? Like, how were you going? Well, I was just going to go in and wing it.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (29m 2s):
Like, no, it doesn’t go, well, you need to, as we say a medicine before you go and speak to that patient, stop, think about what you’re going to say. Imagine what it’s like to be them. Take your pulse, come down and come up with a plan. You’ll just walk in and wing it because bad things happen when you do that. We had Paul Falcone on, if anybody wants to go back and listen to him, I think the name of his book was one 100 Difficult Conversations in the workplace, or even resources, something like that. And it looks amazing. It’s how do you tell somebody that you need to cover up your tattoos? How do you tell somebody that as a human resource person, that you’re not showering and you have body odor and it’s offending the other people.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (29m 44s):
And each one is designed to help have these conversations with employees and doing in the most kind and compassionate manner like you did. And so he did well after you change his wardrobe.
Ellen Reilly (29m 59s):
And you know, when he went to white shirts, I’m sure he wore those lot and changed how people view them. And that’s sad that that’s a reflection on others, judging people, but we know in society. And I think it’s just gotten worse with all the Instagram and Tik TOK. And I worked for Abbvie. I mean, everything we were done was around cosmetics. So it’s really about how people look at sometimes. And that’s unfortunate.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (30m 31s):
And things are a little different. Now I went to visit a major company in advertising. I went to visit them and did a little meeting there. And I walked in and I mean, this is a major player. And there were 25 millennials and Gen Z is on their laptop. Half of them sitting on the floor with their concert t-shirts and their shorts and being very productive. But it’s a little different now, but in some industries it’s not advertised, they probably can get away with it, but you wouldn’t go see your doctor if he was wearing a Def Leppard black t-shirt. So,
Ellen Reilly (31m 6s):
Well, definitely not Def Leoppard, but if he was wearing a Bruce Springsteen shirt, maybe I would
Dr. Anthony Orsini (31m 11s):
In New Jersey. So that’s pretty funny, Ellen, in closing, where do you see Whoop going? And what drives you to keep doing this? I mean, what is it the inside of you, don’t only do things for money. It gets you excited about the Whoop in the future.
Ellen Reilly (31m 27s):
I think where this is going, I do think given the labor shortage in healthcare, people are going to have to really invest in this. The government passed the Lorna Breen act in March around awareness of mental health for healthcare providers. And I think that a lot of times when the government wakes up, wants to spend money to do it and compliance and regulation, people are going to change their behavior. And I think we owe it to society, to look at our healthcare workers and take care of them and people need to take, we want people aren’t going to be old.
Ellen Reilly (32m 7s):
I want to know that there’s going to be more nurses. You know, it’s not going to be one to eight. It’s going to be one to five. Again, I want to know that the doctors could be prepared when I have that brain surgery or whatever I have for Alzheimer’s that are going to have, I think we, as a society need to do something and think the pandemic just exacerbated mental health and it made it okay to talk about it. Credit to the Simone Biles and everybody that talked about mental health. I mean, people lashed down at them and like, they’re talking about something that’s so important that people don’t talk about. You talked about the suicide of one doctor a day, you’ve got to talk about those things. We have to make people understand that that impacts all of us and your opportunity to tell that story and how provider organizations can start to take care of their employees and their frontline healthcare workers is a really important story.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (33m 3s):
Yeah. I’m excited to be involved in this. It’s the future medical errors are the top three reasons that people die in the United States each year. And so we’re doing what we can to help that. I think this is just another piece of the puzzle that we’re going to be doing. So, Ellen, this has been great. I know you’re crazy, crazy busy, or probably traveling all over the world again, but I appreciate your time. Where should people go to find more about the Whoop or to contact you?
Ellen Reilly (33m 29s):
Sure. So you can get me at Ellen.Reilly@whoop.com, W H O O P.com. You can go to whoop W H O O P unite, U N I T E.com. And you can find more about our offerings in healthcare.
Dr. Anthony Orsini (33m 49s):
Fantastic. And if you’re in healthcare, you’re in business. And just one of my best friends had one on the other day. And I said, oh, you’re wearing a Whoop? And he said, yeah, my 400 salesmen were given these whoops by their boss. So it’s for everybody, I’m excited to be involved and excited to have you here today and honor my friend and always have a great time when we see each other. So thanks so much, Ellen. I really appreciate it.
Ellen Reilly (34m 13s):
Announcer (34m 15s):
If you enjoyed this episode, please go ahead and download it. Tell your friends about it. We have previous episodes, we’ve re almost on 200 episodes now. So pretty exciting. If you need the contact, me, contact me through our website, the Orsini Way. com. We’ll put all of Ellen’s contact information, the show notes, and so you can reach her and also the links to whoop.com. So thank you everybody again. Thank you, Ellen. If you enjoyed this podcast, please hit the subscribe button and leave a comment and review your contact Dr. Orsini and his team, or to suggest guests for a future podcast, visit us at TheOrsiniWay.com. The comments and opinions of the interviewer and guests on this podcast are their own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and beliefs of their present and past employers or institutions.
Dr. Anthony Orsini
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