7 Ways You Can Excel as a Healthcare Provider
Some time ago, I met with a family for a tour of our Skilled Nursing facility in Hazlet, NJ.
We sat and talked for awhile and at one point, the gentleman turned to me and asked me the million dollar question:
“What about this job actually excites/motivates you?”
At a minimum, every employee working in any business or industry should have a ready response for a question like this. If an individual cannot articulate a proper response to a query like this, he or she needs to go back to the “drawing board.”
My response was to invoke the oft repeated quote from our visionary Founder and President, who once summed up his organizational philosophy when he said, “at Regency, we are passionate about caring for people.”
This succinct, yet powerful statement should always be the driving force behind the efforts of every successful enterprise and organization dealing with Senior Healthcare.
We help people! We impact their lives and the lives of their loved ones in a most positive way! We offer them care, compassion and friendship during their most trying times. We treat them with the dignity and respect we would accord to our own loved ones, because each of them is indeed someone’s loved one!
As healthcare professionals, when we fully recognize the role we play in caring for the individual, this is cause for tremendous pride, but also carries with it exceptional responsibility. Our mandate is not to simply provide the requisite care, but to do so in a manner which allows our patients and residents to thrive.
Why You Should Strive for Excellence
When you are engaged in selling widgets, it is sometimes sufficient to be “second best.” Not all coffee makers are created equal and some people will say “coffee is coffee.”
Not so when you are engaged in the business of caring for people. It is insufficient to be second best.
Second best isn’t even second rate in Healthcare.
I saw an ad for a rehab facility in a prominent magazine, which touted the facility as being “recognized in N.Y.S. with an above average rating.”
This “promotion” shocked me to the core! Is this a way of advertising your strengths?! Admitting that you are simply “above average” is adequate (perhaps) if you are selling ceiling tiles.
However, consider this; would you entrust your loved one to a neurosurgeon who is “above average?!” Indeed, would you consider an “above average” nursing facility as adequately suited to care for your own Mom or Dad?!
No, we must strive for perfection in Healthcare!
How to Achieve Excellence
I attended a healthcare symposium and webinar back in July of 2012 hosted by the American Healthcare Association. The speakers were Stan and Chris Magleby (founder and CEO of Pinnacle quality insight), who are no strangers to surveys, having conducted over 500,000 customer satisfaction phone surveys since 1996.
They attempted to identify seven elements which are common to the experience of every satisfied nursing home consumer.
What I learned then still resonates with me today. Here is what they came up with:
1. Treat everyone with importance.
This encompasses everything from knowing a patient and/or resident’s name, to being genuinely interested in their care plan and welfare.
2. Explain what you will do, what you are doing, what you did and what you expect to do.
Be proactive about involving the patient in his or her care plan. This includes everything from a Certified Nurse Assistant explaining why she is leaving a pitcher of water in the room, to explaining the more esoteric nuances of the patient’s Medicare coverage benefits.
3. Exceed expectations.
It’s no longer enough to be “good,” Magelby says. Consumers expect to get good care in a clean facility with good food. “We are looking for wow moments,” which can be a “long process of consistent behavior,” he says.
4. Lose the concept of waiting.
Don’t keep people waiting long for call buttons to be answered, food to be delivered to their table, rooms to be prepared for admission, or phone inquiries to be picked up.
5. Make lemonade from lemons.
When negative things happen, look for the silver lining and the inevitable lessons to be learned and transform those experiences into something positive.
6. Brag right.
Do not promote what you cannot deliver upon, but be extremely proud to highlight that which you excel in. At Regency Nursing & Rehab facilities, we are always proud to point to our many varied accomplishments, but we never rest upon our laurels and always seek to grow in new areas and tackle new frontiers.
7. Invest in employees.
Respect their need for the knowledge necessary to do their job, respect their feelings, respect their desire to have an impact and respect their workspace and time. Recognize that your employees are your biggest asset and treat each and every one of them with the highest level of respect and appreciation for their work. The level of trust and support which you impart to your employee’s will manifest and be evident in the huge degree of motivation and compassion which they will undoubtedly bring to their work. In the final analysis, the biggest beneficiaries of this exceptional dynamic are the patients and residents themselves.