Spreading The Human Connection Through Trust and Empathy in Health Care

Perhaps it would prove equally noble to have all of our performance stats placed online for review by anyone. Why stop at physicians? Dr. Thomas H. Lee, chief medical officer at Press Ganey Associates makes a number of salient points below. However, as I’m sure he would attest, healthcare workers are not ambivalent with respect to patients. In some cases the sheer magnitude of their duties inoculate them from the pressing urgency of now. Please share below. Thank you.

We all whether packing widgets or healthcare become unconsciously disengaged. It doesn’t take much. Imagine your brake installer disengaged or distrusting. The concept of empathy has it’s corollary in trust. How can one assert this in a large organization? Leadership and management can take cues from employees. A culture of trust adds relevance to the adage, “Our employees are our greatest asset?” Seems terribly oxymoronic doesn’t it in terms of employees as the first to go when leadership has failed to perform.

“That brings us to the question of how to go about actually driving that action. To date, health care organizations have used “carpet bombing” strategies, in which all personnel are urged to be more sensitive to patients’ needs. With increasing ability to profile the performance of individual physicians, many organizations have been focusing on the physicians who seem to be doing worst – the “bad apple” approach.

But to create an epidemic of empathy, organizations need to use a complementary approach – find the personnel who have the best patient reports regarding the coordination and empathy of their care, and try to spread whatever it is that they are doing right. They can be identified using the same data used to identify the physicians who are not doing well. Then, the subset of “good performers” can be identified who are also well-respected by and connected to many of their colleagues.”

Can you apply similar methods successfully in any organization? Absolutely!

Dr. Lee insists, “The pain and disability that result from their diseases and their treatments are of course major factors, but so is the avoidable suffering that results from dysfunction of the delivery system – the long waits to be seen, the chaos that results when clinicians are not coordinating their efforts closely, the uncertainty about what is supposed to happen next, the dehumanizing impact of an impersonal bureaucracy. Issues like food and parking are trivial to patients compared to these concerns.” Read full article here. 

Employees will deliver exceptional customer service when they understand trust exist to make their job and lives easier.

When people know you care they will do everything possible to let you know they care.

Watch this short video on empathy from Cleveland Clinic. You’ll feel Thoreau’s pleading in his quote, “Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”


I invite you to comment. Please share. Thank you.

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Hire Jim Woods, speakers, leadership, consultant, hr, innovationJim is president of InnoThink Group and Leadership Matters.  He is a leader in workplace learning, productivity, performance, and leadership training solutions. For over 25 years, we have helped companies improve their performance, productivity, and bottom-line results.

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Jim Woods is president of The Jim Woods Group. A management consulting firm. Go here to see his work www.jimwoodsgroup.com. He advises and speaks to organizations large and small on how to increase top line growth in times of uncertainty and complexity. Some of his speaking and consulting clients include: U.S. Army, MITRE Corporation, Pitney Bowes, Whirlpool, and 3M. See more at his website www.jimwoodsgroup.com.

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Posted in Change Management, Employee Engagement

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