Guest Blog: Welcome to the Patient Ready MarketplacePosted on Oct 5, 2011 in Guest Blog, News | 452 comments
In a recent discussion with a clinical psychologist, I learned that we generally become our habits our habits become us. Accordingly, to change, to grow, to transition and to flourish, we have to work very hard at changing those habits that are not benefiting us personally.
How does this apply to an organization? Every organization that I have ever experienced has a distinct personality and, in its own way, habits, as well. Sometimes the personality of the organization is imposed by its leaders, but usually there are layers of practice that have become part of the culture of that organization; practices that have accumulated over time.
My observations of numerous hospitals have also provided me with an understanding of the myriad of habits that no longer make sense in today’s world; habits that literally negative results, and are not only insensitive to the needs of both the staff and the patients, but also are intellectually and emotionally caustic to all participants.
Many hospitals are wonderful examples of business models that worked during the Industrial Revolution. Employees still swipe time cards into time clocks, bells and pagers go off all day and all night; professionals poke and prod patients without any explanation. We’ve all observed the 84-year-old being wheeled into a cold, uncarpeted hallway, parked near a wall with nothing to see, nothing to do, and no one to talk to for long stretches of time while waiting for tests about which he or she knows very little?
In many hospitals patients are referred to by staff members by their body parts: the kidney in 101, the heart in 543 and the stroke in 300. It is also common that the procedures administered are at the total convenience of the staff and docs without much consideration for the patient. Numerous hospitals still ask loved ones to leave promptly at 8:00 PM each night, and many times bad news is delivered via the phone.
We can probably agree that it would be great if hospitals were places where you could go to begin that healing process. We might even agree that it would be wonderful if we could be nurtured there, to be helped to find the road to recovery through healing, and even more dramatically, to have a transformational experience that would help us break or modify those habits that keep bringing us back.
It would also be fantastic if, at the end of life, our loved ones could be admitted to control pain, or if the family could have respite. More importantly, it would be amazing if relationships could be healed before the transition to the other side.
In the late eighties, when I entered healthcare administration, it was my passion to make hospitals more like hotels and spas. But, most importantly, it was all about making the hospitals healing places where patients would have a chance to change their lives in a meaningful way; mentally, physically, and spiritually, via a transformational center of caring.
In 1987, my healthcare journey began in administration by removing bullies from the workplace; creating a homelike environment where you did not have to leave your dignity at the door; adding bread baking machines, popcorn machines in the lobby, decorative fountains, aroma therapy, massage, humor, music, and pet therapies. We focused on Green, focused on Dignity for employees and patients on providing a peaceful, loving, and Healing Environment; on Family Spaces; Architecture; and Quality of Care. Then we established an employee evaluation system that embraced these changes and rewarded our staff financially for their work.
Loved ones were encouraged to stay 24/7 as visiting hours were opened to them, double beds were placed in the OB suites, a wellness/prevention/and integrative health facility was built, a senior citizen center was made available to the Area Agency on Aging.
Welcome to the Patient ready Marketplace. If you want to transform your organization, start with this blog . . . and if you need help, call me.
Nick Jacobs is the International Director of Business Development for Sunstone Consulting and has 20 years experience in hospital leadership with a reputation for innovation and patient-centered leadership. Throughout his career he has developed a reputation based upon patient advocacy which focuses on transformational strategies that provide an effective delivery of patient services.
The author of the book, Taking the Hell out of Healthcare, Mr. Jacobs is a regular contributor of articles to healthcare and industry Internet sites, including healinghospitals.com, hospitalimpact.org, worldhealthcareblog.org, Western Pennsylvania, Chicago and Atlanta Hospital News, and several local and regional newspapers. You can visit his blog www.takingthehelloutofhealthcare.com/blog/
He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 412-992-6197