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The Biggest Mistake in Improving the Patient Experience – Do Nothing

Posted by Kristin Baird on October 2nd, 2014 • 1 Comment »

Sometimes I think that the best patient experiences occur not because of healthcare leaders but in spite of them. Part of the Baird Model is to tap into the people who are identified as the stellar performers in the organization. When I am working with these service stars I feel the energy and passion for doing what is best for the patients and families. They are committed, clear and energized. If I could clone them and distribute them to every nook and cranny of the healthcare industry I would. They are delivering the very best of what healthcare has to offer the patient experience.

But unfortunately, more often than not, I find that their star-like qualities are not consistent across the organization nor are they being consciously nurtured or replicated. How can that be? How can the organization miss the obvious? The answer often lies in the C-suite. Power struggles, control issues and over-engineering even the simplest practices are just a few of the reasons organizations miss the obvious. They stall creation of simple behavior-based standards. Under the guise of inclusion they create unnecessary barriers and finally they encumber progress with a litany of policies and procedure large enough to choke a horse.

My advice is – get out of your own way. Healthcare of course was founded on science. Evidence-based medicine is essential to positive medical outcomes. There is fear of attempting anything in medicine that isn’t well documented. And for good reason. When it comes to improving the patient experience, more and more best practices are emerging but in the meantime, your star performers are demonstrating behaviors worth replicating. Look around at what they are doing and start to standardize them. The biggest mistake is to do nothing. I guarantee that no patients will die as the result of more compassion, better communication and many other behaviors consistently demonstrated by your stellar performers.

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Baird Consulting

One Response to “The Biggest Mistake in Improving the Patient Experience – Do Nothing”

  1. I agree with your comments in your article Kristin. Every Hospital has your top performers and compassionate caring nurses, It’s just a matter of delivering consistency. I’ve seen that reminders are always good. Reminders of why we are here (to care for patients and their families). Reminders of what’s it like to be a patient and how long the patient has been suffering with whatever illness. I was recently a patient myself about three weeks ago and it was a huge eye opener in regards to seeing things from a patient perspective. No one or hospital has to reinvent the wheel it’s just a matter doing what works for the majority and keep doing it and being flexible when someone has a new idea in regards to providing GREAT patient care. Need to be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.


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