SOAR: Situation, Obstacle, Action, Result
Situation: I once received a call from a patient who had a brain tumor for which he needed a very expensive and hard-to-get medication. In addition, he was having all sorts of insurance billing problems. He was literally driving from pharmacy to pharmacy looking to see which one had the medication in stock, but he had no luck.
Obstacle: I called a couple of pharmacies for him and was able to locate one; however, its satellite link went down, and the pharmacy refused to dispense the medication without successfully billing the patient’s insurance company electronically. Normally we have nurses on call 24/7 for emergencies like this; however, I knew a company nurse would have told the patient to pay the several thousand dollars at the initial pharmacy I had found and seek reimbursement. There is no contingency for patients who don’t have the money.
Action: After a very exhaustive search, I located a specialty drug supplier that agreed to have the medication delivered by private carrier overnight. I gave the patient my personal cell number and asked him to call me if he did not receive his medication within 24 hours.
Result: A day later, I received a call from the patient’s mother, thanking me for helping her son get the medication he needed for his brain tumor.
STAR: Situation, Task, Action, Result
Situation: Our company had just won a major outsourcing contract, resulting in spinning off 2,600 employees into a subsidiary within the parent organization.
Task: The company needed to develop an entire set of HR processes for this new subsidiary.
Action: I identified and developed all the processes, and then I created a resource intranet site containing powerful text and visuals illustrating the final version of all processes. I used the intranet site as the basis of a comprehensive training program for the spin-off company’s HR team.
Result: The site became an ongoing reference tool to use long after the training. Having a documented process has been a valuable tool for the HR team. Corporate auditors can clearly see that we have defined and followed our processes.
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