eleVate, Department of Biostatistics

Vanderbilt's eleVate Program

Nine Principles

  • Commit to excellence
  • Measure the important things
  • Build a culture around service
  • Create and develop great leaders
  • Focus on employee satisfaction
  • Build individual accountability
  • Align behaviors with goals and values
  • Communicate at all levels
  • Recognize and reward success

Vanderbilt Medical Center Credo

Continuous Quality Improvement Projects

Ideas for Pillar goals

During our first department wide meeting on November 15, 2005 staff and faculty members provided ideas of pillar goals that apply specifically to the department. This is a summary of the suggestions collected:


  1. Reduce turnover, vacancies, and help to create more stability in the department
  2. Increase employee satisfaction by eliminating the pay increase cap. Evaluate employees on individual basis not department wide status
  3. Treat others as equals, no one person should be held in higher value; as a team we should respect each other’s work load and opinions
  4. Have more interaction with new employees
  5. Make orientation more detailed while showing new employees around, take time to introduce them to everyone. Have a set of key questions to ask of the new employee
  6. Increased communication within department members and more interaction with Cancer Biostatistics Division's faculty and staff
  7. Make sure the department provides tools and equipment needed to complete projects smoothly and efficiently
  8. Being aware of personalities when interacting (handling problems as a team). Encourage each other to identify problems and use suggestions to improve
  9. Develop a system of rewarding employees for good work
  10. Send thank you notes for those who help. Everyone likes to hear Thank you!
  11. E-mail feedback to collaborators


  1. NEVER say no, always be ready to help
  2. Increase publicity of daily clinics, implement follow up procedure after clinics (surveys, emails), and evalate clinic success by attendance and feedback. Actively recruit people to attend clinics.
  3. Make more time for clinics and collaborations during clinics
  4. Learn better time management for projects, track times that projects are taking, better timely response to problems, educate clients why our service takes time and provide a timeline of expected deadlines, and provide client with progress updates
  5. Find ways to measure our work on grants and collaborations, keep good relationship with other departments for collaboration projects, provide examples of abstracts and grant proposals to first time clients
  6. Improve internal education and mentorship as well as outside of our department
  7. Attend more medical journal clubs to provide statistical perspective
  8. Show much appreciation for a job well done


  1. Provide a positive environment
  2. Make people aware of what will be considered in the evaluation process, create a feedback mechanism for improvement, provide reasonable notice of deadlines, have internal peer reviews, would like to have input on supervisor evaluations to esure full implementation of the "manage up/manage down" approach
  3. Create good means of reproducible research, use modern methods, increase use of productivity enhancing software, increase graphical display
  4. Create instantaneous automatic report of web-page usage with an annual report of activity
  5. Help (service) with a smile (good personality, willingness to help)
  6. Have good open channels of communication to know and learn what other teams do to improve quality, and try to anticipate what a client or supervisor will need even before they realize they need it
  7. Strive for lifetime continuing education


  1. Grow the data coordinating center
  2. Provide space for future growth
  3. Active recruiting, better contact with recruits, raise salaries of those already here to motivate recruiting process
  4. Have employee relations meeting (know what others are involved in), implement mentoring program for those who've reached the top out to make room to move further up the ladder
  5. Arrange resources in a more efficient way
  6. Get more depts. to buy into collaboration plan by showing them how useful we care (will bring more grants)
  7. Host National Conference here
  8. Hire additional admin staff to improve productivity


  1. Improve quality of grant applications to increase number of grants and funding rates
  2. Advocate collaboration plans, encourage Co-PI on grants to have more PIs from department
  3. Allow faculty more budget awareness and use of unrestricted funds, emphasize importance of career development funds, striving to become a full funded faculty
  4. Explore comparison of industry vs. academic salaries as a means of improving recruitment
  5. Standardization of supply ordering process (collective ordering)

eleVate Department Representatives

Q&A for baseline

Elevate and Skills Assessment Survey
Topic revision: r15 - 14 Apr 2008, LindaStewart

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