My exuberant five-year-old son and I are no strangers to an emergency room. One night Max developed a cough and was having trouble breathing. So I bundled him up and headed off to the nearest hospital. I assumed it was the croup it's a chronic problem for him, but I wanted to be sure, and was hoping the doctors would be able to do something to help him catch his breath. To my relief, there was no one else waiting and we were led back into an examination room almost immediately. The nurse was pleasant as she took Max's vitals and then we sat behind a curtain to wait. On the other side, I heard a brief exchange between the nurse and the person I presumed to be a doctor. He rushed in with no introduction; ripped up the back of Max's shirt; listened to Max's breathing and then rushed out. He handled Max roughly and never made eye contact with me. My kid is a rough and tumble sort of guy and not much phases him, but I was appalled. I wanted to comment and ask for feedback on Max's condition. But instead, we listened to the nurse's personal telephone conversation on the other side of the curtain. Every time I tried to get her attention, she averted her eyes.
After an hour with no communication of Max's status, with his breathing getting significantly worse, I was forced to interrupt her and ask for assistance. A ventilator was placed over Max's mouth by a person I had not noticed earlier. She seemed like she could have been an EMT, fresh off an ambulance based on her appe
I had an amazing time at the Cleveland Clinic Innovation and Empathy Summit! I came back to Chicago more inspired than ever, after sharing so many best practices with hospitals from around the country. It was great catching up with some of you and hearing about challenges and successes you are currently experiencing. Here are the top five things I learned:
1. Fear and Love do not coexist. When caregivers come into the room of a patient and exude confidence and compassion and expose their own personal character, it sucks the fear out of the room and allows love to enter. In order for a caregiver to do this effectively, they must make the choice to be present, positive and connected.
2. Many cultural transformations begin when patients tell their doctors that they don't like them - and the doctors listen. Simple things like scrub uniformity, scripting, eye contact, and customer complaint resolution with staff empowerment go a long way toward making a cultural change.
3. What works? Purposeful hourly rounding, responding immediately to call lights, keeping things quiet at night, effective service recovery and universal scripting. Set regular goals as a team and celebrate when they are reached and exceeded.nbsp;
4. Having the right peop