Review by: Angela Fieler, MPA, CMQ/OE, Consultant
As the holiday season draws to a close and I reflect on what was, what is, and what is to come, I realize how many things I have to be grateful for in my life. I have been blessed with a fun, loving, and supportive family. I have a fulfilling career and I get to work with great people who are committed to improving the patient experience. I have been given resources and opportunities to help support all of you in your journey to a culture of service.
For many of you, the Beryl Institute is a great resource for continuous learning, network building and up to date information. I comb the website regularly looking for the latest report, best practice, or case study. And I read a lot. I don’t think I’ve come back to an article or a paper as often as I have come back to Tiffany Christensen’s December 4, 2017 blog, “Do You See What I See?” Every time I read it, I get new insight into my own perception of patients, in general or specifically, as well as my own approach to shaping the patient experience.
Christensen challenges us to view the world through the eyes of a patient. Coming to work with the best intentions and drawing from our own experiences is good, but it isn’t enough. We have to see beyond physical weakness and understand the strength it takes to face disease and illness day in and day out. We have to ask questions that open our minds to where the patient is today and how we can help them draw from either their own strength or our own. Only then can we know what it will take to deliver personalized care for each patient we have the privilege of serving.
As Christensen says, “Illness forces us to focus on what matters in this life.” As care-givers, let us each take the time to focus on the power we have to shape the patient experience and recognize that patients and family members expect us to deliver effective clinical care but they need to know that we are there for them, that we are human beings caring for human beings.