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I recently returned from a trip to Ireland where we visited my wife's cousin, Father Sean, a Catholic priest in Northern Ireland. He is a great soul with a wonderful sense of humor. During the course of our many conversations, we asked him how he spent most of his time. His answer--hatchin, matchin, dispatchin!
Hatchin meant the sacrament of Baptism for newborns. Matchin meant the sacrament of Matrimony. And dispatchin alluded to the funerals he performs.
Of course that got me thinking about patient experience! (Really, you say!)
Three men are laying bricks. Someone goes up to the first and asks, "What are you doing?" He replies, "Laying bricks." The inquisitor moves to the second and inquires, "Sir, what are you doing?" He responds, "Feeding my family."
Finally, the questioner asks the same question to the third man laying bricks who says, "I am working here with a great team! We are building a magnificent cathedral that many will visit and that will be here for years and years after I am gone."
How do people at your hospital answer the following question when asked, "What are you doing?" or "What do you do here?" How do you wish they would answer? (See my desired response in a couple paragraphs.)
I recently attended something called the Landmark Forum, three days of self-introspection.
The net-net: Things in life happen. We then create a story around it. The story then defines our reality. And it limits our possibilities.
See, we all show up at work with baggage. We have stories of why things are the way they are and they affect all aspects of human relationships.
In his Marketing Profs article, Howard Lax, Ph.D., says the memory of an experience trumps the actual experience.
Context, he says, defines the parameters of our thinking and sets our expectations. That is why it is so hard to break out of context and why only a handful of visionaries can break through the boundaries and imagine and build things never before envisioned.
I was attending the World Health Care Congress outside of Washington, D.C., earlier this month when the trade journals reported, and my local Charlotte news exploded with, the CaroMont Health "Cheat Death" debacle.
Hospital officials hoped the unveiling of a new tagline with a provocative phrase would resonate with residents, spurring them to eat better and exercise more, and thereby embracing wellness and living longer lives.
Let's see, you're trying to promote health and life. Seems the previous tagline fit just fine: "In Love with Life."
Well, the community went crazy and CaroMonth's new tagline is going away.
It looks like hospital marketers are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on marketing that doesn't always work. They are trying too hard, spending too much, and frankly, they are confused.
BMJ Quality and Safety released a paper in March that suggests a direct correlation between staff satisfaction and quality care. It seemed to indicate better performing hospitals make for happier workers.
So I was wondering if the opposite is true. Do happy workers make for better performing hospitals?
Let's look to Harvard professor Shawn Achor, author of "Happiness Advantage," who is turning into the "happiness guru." He maintains happiness remains elusive in a goal-obsessed society. Just as you achieve one thing that you think will make you happy, you only set the bar higher.
Sound familiar? Yet a consensus is emerging that happy brains improve business, education and health outcomes.
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