Here are two notes I received today. They illustrate the way things can work. The first is about a competitor, the second about BIDMC.
From our VP for Human Resources:
One of our employees met with me yesterday to tell me about her experiences at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. I thought I would pass them on to you:
-- All central scheduling. One phone number for all appointments (!)
-- Appointments ran on time, and when they didn’t someone told you what was going on and what to expect.
-- There were bud vases with flowers in each ladies room, with a card that said “Thank you for choosing Newton-Wellesley”.
-- There was a person at the entrance with a button that said “Ask Me”, who would escort you as needed.
-- When an appointment was cancelled after she arrived because a provider was sick, she was offered her choice of a $10 gift certificate to the gift shop or free parking.
-- After patient satisfaction surveys, someone got back to say what actions were taken.
Bravo to Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Lovely ideas, and well executed. We plan to steal some of them!
From a patient who had flown in from another state to see one of our hand surgeons:
Just wanted to take a minute to share with you some of my observations and experiences as a recent patient in the orthopedic department at BIDMC. In essence, I found myself a bit shocked – in a pleasant sense – by the patient-centeredness and thoughtfulness of the personnel there. I use that adjective because it is certainly not what I am used to in a medical and particularly orthopedic setting. I found the staff in orthopedics to be proactively concerned with meeting my needs as a patient – for example when I arrived substantially early for an appointment, trying to get me in on a timely basis. I also found Dr. Day and his resident physicians to work closely as a team, to exude a sense of integrity and forthrightness, and again – to be very patient-centered in their approach.
You might take such things for granted, but I assure you that much of the medical world does not come close to approximating these good standards.