Organizations that want to achieve the best possible patient experience need everyone on board and taking ownership of the experience. Ownership can’t be lip service. Ownership must be woven into the fabric of the culture and daily operations.
I was doing a focus group with front line staff during a culture assessment. As part of the assessment, we ask who, in the organization, delivers stellar service. One of the housekeepers shared a story that spoke volumes about ownership.
“I am here for you”
While cleaning a patient room, the housekeeper observed Sam, a dietary aid, delivering a meal tray to a patient. After setting up the tray on the over-bed table, Sam asked what else he could do for the patient. The patient said, “I hate to be a pest.” Sam assured her she was not a pest and she should ask for whatever she needed. She asked him to adjust the blinds. Sam did as he was asked, but it was his next statement that raised the bar. He turned to the patient and said, “I am here for you. We all want you to get better, so please let us know what you need, no matter how big or small. We take joy in serving you.”
The housekeeper sharing the story went on to say how Sam inspired her to take more ownership of the patient experience as well. He went beyond the standard, “Is there anything else I can do for you?” question. He let the patient know that he sincerely wants to serve.
That’s what ownership looks like.