Patient satisfaction should be exclusive…to everyone

Sometimes it feels like I fell out of the stupid tree and hit every branch on the way down.

Important: Do not remove the wires from your old thermostat until you have marked them with the enclosed labels.

This warning was printed on a bright red background with yellow text and hidden away in the middle of the adult-proof ballistic packaging of the new thermostat.

“Why didn’t you read the directions before you disconnected the old thermostat?” My wife asked as soon as she realized the fan was not working.

“Is there a reason one of the plants in the garden is on fire?

You have to power-wash the deck before you put the furniture on it.”  This is the heavy, metal outdoor furniture I am forced to carry indoors once the weather turns cold so that it can hibernate, and return it to the outdoors in spring. 

All my explanations about the fact that the furniture was designed for the outdoors and that it will outlast the next dinosaur ascendency go unheard.  It is this same furniture for which she has militaristically drilled the family, with the rigor of nuclear submarine crew trained to extinguish fires, to race indoors with the cushions whenever rain is expected anywhere within the lower 48 states.  Perhaps she read somewhere that if the cushions get wet they will suffer the fate of the Wicked Witch of the West and melt.

Responses are neither required nor expected of any of the questions or statements tossed at me.  To do so would be akin to arguing in a vacuum—as opposed to with a vacuum.

Pearls of wisdom, in my case, tossed amongst swine.  “Mongo just pawn in the game of life”—Mel Brooks, Blazing Saddles.

The world has changed.  Customers have changed. All businesses have changed the relationship between themselves and their customers. With few exceptions, healthcare has not changed its approach to patients, and nobody seems to own up as to why.

The way the business model used to work is the business pushes communication from the business to the customer. Businesses evolved to the point where communication between the business and the customer became a push-pull model. The business pushes something to the customer.  Sometimes the customer pulls information, and sometimes the customer pushes information to the business.

Most pushes and pulls function on a one-to-one basis; the business to a single customer (patient), and back. It occurs in secret. Customer A was never aware of the push-pull between the business and Customer B.

Communication is no longer secret. In fact, it is anything but secret, especially among customers.  As the number of customers increases, their communication about a business can go quickly viral—not between patients and the hospital, but among patients. 

Hospitals can do a lot of things but they cannot put the toothpaste back into the tube.

I think patient satisfaction should be exclusive…to everyone, but then I have been accused of trying to believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.

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