I wrote an article yesterday entitled, “No One Goes to Chuck E. Cheese for the Pizza.” I don’t think I’ve ever had Chuck E. Cheese pizza, but I’m pretty sure people go there for the experience. The kids want the fun, and fun will be delivered. I heard a speaker say once that in today’s healthcare, quality should be a given; essentially, if you (a healthcare institution) aren’t providing good, quality care, you probably won’t last. I agree. So that leaves other things - service, atmosphere, location, and so on.
I think about what brings me to different businesses. I hear the flight attendants say all the time, “You have a choice on who you fly, and thank you for choosing (insert airline name).” Uh, no I don’t have a choice. I choose the flight based on when I can get somewhere and the price. I buy and shop and eat at other places for specific reasons - atmosphere, perceived quality, location, need, etc. What do I want for Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics, though? From what I’ve heard, people will go out of their way to receive care at Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics.
I think it’s about that big topic of engagement - both the patient as well as the staff. Our thought is that engaged staff and customers make for an amazing experience. (Again, quality and safety are always job #1.) For the past two years, how we “engaged” was completely changed. Visitors, saying “hi” in the hallways (masked), meetings, or visits in-person…everything became different.
So what we did before won’t cut it for the future. As a patient knowing what I know about COVID-19 and the transmission of germs via the air, I’ll probably be more open to learning and engaging in healthy behaviors. I’m more aware. And for the staff at Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics - we were pushed in a lot of very different directions, and our skills were tested in ways we had never seen before. I see the stats on people retiring and resigning from healthcare, and I know that the organizations with high engagement have lower turnover. And engagement to me equates to respect - pay, benefits, job duties, trust, communication, environment, and more.
If nothing else comes from the last two years of the pandemic, at least we have a new appreciation for what the “best place” should feel like - a team focus that is based in mutual respect and great communication. Oh, and love. (That’s important.) My goal has and will continue to be to make Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics the best place for employees to work, the best place for providers to practice and the best place for patients to receive care.