You know how the story starts: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” How many people do or could use this opener to describe a recent healthcare experience? I had a ring-side seat to just an experience when my mom was recently hospitalized. On the first morning of her hospitalization, I asked the patient care tech (PCT) for the plan of care. His reply? “Ask me in about three months, when I graduate from nursing school”.
When I didn’t laugh at his joke, he explained that he was just a technician and that I would have to ask the nurse. The following morning, I asked the same question of a different PCT, Erica. She told me they were monitoring specific lab values and that they were adjusting Mom’s medications a little at a time to get those lab values all within range.
Trying to Get an Answer
On the first day, I tried to to talk to the nurse as directed. I waited at the nurses’ station for 40 minutes, and listened to some nurses complain about the number of patients they had. Others chastised the complainers to grow up. When Mom’s nurse finally appeared, she told me that several specialists already saw Mom. But, no one wrote any notes so she couldn’t tell me what the plan was.
I asked her about her plan and she said, “I just do what the doctor tells me”. Lucky for Mom, that nurse was going off shift, and her replacement was a gem. Katherine called the hospitalist and was able to share with me that he had consulted on Mom’s care with a Pulmonologist and a Nephrologist. She provided all the technical information and then said, “I plan to make sure that your Mom gets her medication as scheduled, all the tests done on time, and ensure her comfort during the night, in this hospoital we make sure to care for our petients the right way, we even use the best medical waste disposal california”. I went home that night, confident that Mom was in good hands.
I have at least five more specific examples of stark contrasts in the way care was delivered, but I think you get the point. Everybody I interacted with did “the job”. How good the job got done left me wondering who I could and should trust. Everywhere I went in the hospital; I saw signs that said: “We promise to be the best hospital ever”. It absolutely could be the best hospital ever if everyone approached their jobs like Katherine and Erica. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
What’s happening in your organization? Do you have people like Katherine and Erica providing the best possible patient experience? Or do your patients and family members worry when Katherine and Erica go home? Do you even know? Let the Baird Group help. We can assess your culture, let you know how consistent or inconsistent your patients’ experiences are. We can help you build a culture where you are providing an exceptional experience every encounter, every customer, every time.