Patient Care: Is your Hospital an Assembly Line Where they do Just Enough to get the Job Done?

Last week I was invited to sit on the Patient and Family Advisory Council at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. I was flattered by the opportunity, but not surprised that this hospital actually has a group dedicated to ensure patient satisfaction. It’s no secret that I am a big fan of New York-Presbyterian and the people there. I spoke about it in an unsolicited television advertisement. Yes, I had my surgery there, and yes my doctor was great; but that’s not why I gave the place rave reviews. There are plenty of situations where good doctors and nurses work in bad hospitals. The reason I like NYP is because every person I came in contact with there was at the top of their game. I expected these people to be the best at whatever they do because New York-Presbyterian has the reputation as a top notch hospital, but I didn’t expect them all to be so friendly and genuinely caring. I didn’t expect them to offer my wife a pillow while she sat in the chair at my bedside as I recovered from open heart surgery, I didn’t expect the stressed out staff to be in good spirits as they cared for patients covered in wires with machines keeping them alive, nor did I expect the woman who did my surgery intake to remember me and that my wife was pregnant on my six month post-op visit. I was dumbfounded when she asked if the baby turned out to be a boy or girl and reiterated part of our past conversation. There are many people in the medical field that do a great job at what they’re trained for, but they lack compassion and the ability to connect with their patients. At NYP even the guy pushing around patients in wheelchairs seemed to be the MVP of wheelchair pushers. I describe this in more detail in my book, but you need to have had an experience at a few different hospitals to really appreciate the difference. The people at NYP treat you like family, and there is a noticeable culture and camaraderie there. It appears that the people really enjoy what they’re doing. You can also see that they've made a concerted effort to provide facilities, policies, and an environment that is comfortable for families receiving care there. My family was treated with the same dignity as I was during my stay. The stellar results at NYP have been championed by C.O.O. Steven Corwin MD and his staff. They have set the bar when it comes to Patient and Family satisfaction. 

I have nothing to gain giving Kudos to NYP. My open heart surgery was a life changing event that I thought was going to be miserable for my family and I, and it turned out to be much better than anticipated. I attribute a large portion of that to NYP. In today’s day and age, hospitals with Patient and Family centered care will continue to outperform the rest. Patients are grateful, but no longer satisfied with just being “fixed up” at the hospital by qualified doctors and nurses when there are hospitals like NYP that are not only solving medical problems, but they are doing it in an unprecedented environment. Today we are not only looking for the most skilled doctors and nurses, but we are also demanding compassion, cleanliness, less waiting, and comfort for ourselves and our families. We want it all, and we're willing to travel for it if need be. The PFAC at New York-Presbyterian has clearly been influential in the success there. Utilizing customers (or in this case patients) for candid feedback and integrating it into the business (or in this case the hospital) is a simple concept that makes sense; one that’s been an integral part of successful companies for decades. It's nice to see this happening in the medical field. 


Shahina Lakhani said...

A beautiful example of why compassion and competence both are essential in healthcare. I agree we are no longer satisfied with just being fixed up, we want compassionate care too. Thanks for sharing your experience, it gives me all the more reason to continue to advocate for competence, compassion and care through consumer awareness and creating alliances with like minded people.

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