A Memo to the Staff: The Preciousness of Patients

Sometimes in the midst of making changes to improve things,
we inadvertently lose the patient.

Sometimes we literally lose the patient because they say
“Everything is changing and I don’t like it.  I’m taking my business elsewhere.”

Sometimes we figuratively lose the patient because they feel a distance in not connecting with the staff, or not understanding why things are changing.

How do we hold on to our patients when all around us the world is changing, healthcare is changing and we are changing to stay alive financially and competitively?

  • Focus on each patient you come in contact with and look into their eyes. We forget to look into people’s eyes. If you find yourself not connecting with a patient, ask yourself what color eyes the patient has. In checking, you will connect.
  • Remind yourself of the preciousness of life and of each life you come in contact with.  The job is do are not just “any” job. We are fortunate to do jobs where we are entrusted with people’s most precious possession – their health and their lives.  We are not telemarketers, we are not selling widgets, and we are making a difference in this world. Don’t forget that YOU are making a difference. No matter how your job touches a life directly or indirectly, you are in healthcare, one of the most challenging and meaningful jobs out there.
  • Even though we sometimes shake our heads over patient expectations, we can still do our best to let patients know that we are sorry when we cannot do what they are asking. We can’t always see everyone who wants to be seen today.  We can’t always get their forms completed, or their medical records copied, or their test results reported back to them immediately, but we can express the understanding that their needs are important to us.
  • Give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Believe they are human and doing the best they can.
  • Do not think I expect perfection. I don’t. I expect each of you to do the best you can, but I do not expect perfection of myself and I don’t expect it of you.

Thank you for being in healthcare with me.

Mary Pat

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