Respect for Older Patients
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I've been speaking for healthcare organizations since 1994. Before that, I served in vice president positions at two hospitals.


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What Makes an Experience Memorable?

Rain, wind and severe flooding were predicted in Washington DC last Friday.

From my window at the Phoenix Park Hotel, I saw a woman running full speed around the corner at the National Postal Museum and up North Capitol Street. She had a satchel in one arm; her other arm held high three mylar balloons that were somehow staying afloat despite the rain.

Thirty seconds later, a small boy came into view, running as fast as his little legs could take him. They were obviously trying to reach the bus parked a long city block ahead. Could they possibly run fast enough?

Then, the bus driver stepped on to the sidewalk, waved and waited. I could imagine the woman’s relief and hoped the passengers were smiling at the driver’s kindness.

What makes an experience memorable?  Gestures that convey:

“It’s going to be okay.”
“I understand how you feel.”
“I’ve got your back.”

Split-Second Kindness: Making a Difference When Time is Limited is full of patient experience techniques that take two minutes or less. On page 15: “When a patient says he is running late, offer to call the department to let them know he is on his way.”  You can order copies for your team here.

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