Not long ago, my daughter needed a really important medical procedure.
Long before it could even start, we needed hours of prep from a team of experts – absolutely none of whom were doctors or nurses.
Great Healthcare Employees Who Move Heaven and Earth
Way before we could so much as set a date, a band of schedulers, insurance supervisors, and medical coders had to practically do a tango to communicate with me, the insurance company – and each other – for all the required approvals. Every day we thought we had it covered; and every day, a new surprise set us back a couple of steps.
When I tell you in a week, I talked to these great healthcare employees 600 times, I really don’t think I’m exaggerating. None of this merry band ever lost patience. None of them ever gave up. Each said the goal was to make sure my daughter got what she needed. One of them even called me the day after the approvals were squared away just because, “It just didn’t seem right that I didn’t talk to you today.”
Healthcare in 2017
It was a reminder that in 2017, healthcare is more than just the clinical procedures; and that caring for patients comes down to an army of dedicated people — doctors and nurses, as well as administrators and coders and schedulers and food providers and information specialists and any number of others – to do it well.
Each of these people needs to do more than merely do the job; they need to be invested in it. And my family is living proof that when they are – when they’re part of a healthcare culture where leadership says, “We care about you so you can care about patients” — they’ll move heaven and earth to get things done.
“Data Alone Can’t Tell You How Much that Means”
Harvard Business Review recently featured data showing that employees who are invested in their healthcare organizations – and so who are engaged in their work – deliver great experiences for patients (here, here!), and great financial returns for the organization. Personally, I believe it. If there was a common thread that came up over and over again in my little odyssey, it was that each time I asked, “How can you keep doing this?” the answer was the same: “I love my job.” Data alone can’t tell you how much that means.
In the end, thanks to doctors, nurses, and everyone involved, the event went off without a hitch. “I’ve been with this organization for 15 years,” the nursing administrator told me, “and I hope to stay here until I retire.”
Speaking as someone who is sure to be on the phone with that dedicated professional again…I hope so, too.