Raise the Bar, Please

“As far as industries in America goes, there ain’t a lower bar for ignorance, business, marketing, PR and branding than healthcare in America.” –Jerry Durham, PT

These words resonated with me the other night as I was watching/listening to #sipwJerLarKar as I reflected back on the last month , and what I have learned from it.

As I have recently written about, I was asked by the director of my home care agency to represent the organization in meetings with a local orthopedic office – my role is to collaborate with other local clinicians from other settings to establish a pathway or guideline for patient care post-operatively. Why was I chosen out of the 25+ other therapists on staff despite the fact that only 1 other clinician has less home care experience than me?

First, it helps that I am the staff member that has been most recently employed in the outpatient setting, so I have the most up-to-date knowledge of what that entails for both the patient and clinician, alike. Secondly, I have demonstrated that I will express my opinion openly and am unlikely to be bullied in conversation, especially if I am standing on principled ground. Lastly, according to the boss, I have the highest ratings in the agency with regards to Press Ganey scores.

The first two seem plausible enough, but the last part – the one about patient satisfaction – made me giggle to myself. I wondered to myself how this could possibly be, considering that my old boss felt that it was necessary to provide me with a one-on-one remedial instructional session about patient care and empathy. The irony had not been lost on me.

Then, earlier this week, our daily system-wide (hospital and affiliated home care agency) email update featured this little pearl of wisdom:

Communicating your goals to your patients (and meeting them) improves their confidence in you. That increased confidence makes you feel good about what you have achieved today and leads to your patients’ feeling very good about the care they are receiving. Share your plans with your patients and their families!

To Mr Durham’s point, this is how low the bar has been set for health care services – it’s no wonder my numbers look so good, if health care practitioners need reminders such as these.


One thought on “Raise the Bar, Please

  1. Nice post Keith, we need to be more concerned with meeting the patient’s goals than “our” goals as a therapist. This is one main area we’ve gone astray.

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