Healthcare suffers from terminal uniqueness. It’s a condition where you constantly explain why your situation is different from everyone else’s in healthcare. This helps you to ascribe to excuses for why your patient experience scores are lousy. A few of the signs that you may suffer from terminal uniqueness include making comments like:
- My patients are sicker
- Our patients are more demanding
- My patients are entitled
- They are upper class
- My patients are lower class
- Our clinical outcomes are great. What more do they want?
- My patients are highly educated
Okay. You’re special. But here’s the thing; your patients don’t care how “special” you are. They certainly expect you to deliver safe, reliable healthcare services. They trust that you know what you are doing. That is a given. Why? Because you are a healthcare organization filled with healthcare professionals. They will judge the experience on how you made them feel.
Key Elements of Encounters
After completing hundreds of focus groups and interviews there are several things that determine how patients feel about their encounters. Here are a few of the key elements:
- Did they feel like you respected them and included them in decision-making?
- How well did you answer questions and engage them?
- Did you give them indications that you know about them and why they’re there?
- Did you demonstrate empathy so they feel you cared about them?
To use an old adage; they won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.