As we continue our journey...
… into the era of pay for performance and publicly posted quality scores, there is no doubt that healthcare has officially become a business. People have a choice where to receive their medical care and it is up to each and every hospital to find a way to capture that business. It is no longer safe to say that people will make a choice simply because of the care provided or residing neighborhood. Gone are the days where patients choose their health care based on their heart or their head; instead patient’s choices are based on the size of their wallets and what they can afford. So with this business model in mind it is time to think, not like a healthcare leader, but rather as an entrepreneur.
Recently I walked into my ER leadership team meeting and proudly told the team that I had come up with an idea that I thought would help improve patient satisfaction and build our business. For the patient’s comfort we are going to offer warm or cold face towels to the patients and their families who are waiting in our waiting room. We were to try out-of-the0box thinking. Exceeding the expectation. Needless to say this request was met with a myriad of perplexed faces. What are we, a luxury spa? But while it wasn’t going to change their clinical care, such a small action could exceed compassion expectations on a human level.
Healthcare is a business and we must compete for the those healthcare dollars. The only way to do that is to exceed expectations by doing the unexpected.
In my lecture entitled “No Time to Care: Instilling compassion Back Into Your Care In 60 Seconds or Less”, I ask the audience to name a business that stands out in their minds simply because they consistently exceed your expectations. 90 percent of the time the first business they yell out is Chick filet. That’s right, a fast food restaurant. What are the reasons they give for this choice? Simple: They do things different. They consistently do things that you wouldn’t expect. After every request they say “it’s my pleasure”. When they are not busy they come out from behind the counter and provide table service for the customers. I cant help but think there had to be one person in the room that raised their hand when this was announced in a meeting and asked “Table service? You do know that we are selling fast food, right?!”
It is time for healthcare to think differently. Be brave, try something new and then be ok to try again if it doesn’t work.
If it is healthcare’s destiny to move from a diagnostic care model to an outstanding business model then we better change our mindset as healthcare leaders quick. Let us learn from the great business minds that have been successful in the past and challenged their employees to exceed the expectation by giving their customers something they never would have expected. Challenge you staff to do the same. Think differently today and be the first hospital that everyone thinks of when someone asks, “Where do you go to get your medical care?