I happen to be driving along the highway and came across the following billboard. I will not “out” the health system that developed the ad, but I will highlight the various “awards and recognitions” that were highlighted on the billboard.
The title was, “You See A Body of National Recognition”
There are 3 badges or in this case certifications from the Joint Commission. Stroke, orthopedics, and diabetes.
There are 3 badges or accreditation for Chest Pain, Breast Centers, and Rehabilitation.
There are 2 additional badges for their certification in Bariatric Surgery and for their Cancer Program.
As I drove past I continued to replay the advertisement in my head. How many times do I see an ad, a billboard, pamphlet, or flier highlighting the awards and recognitions that a hospital has received?
I have seen so many Top 100 lists that I begin to question the relevance. If there are so many lists, that it allows each facility to be named to a list, then what difference does it make?
In all honesty, shouldn’t each hospital, clinic, and healthcare system naturally follow the guidelines, recommendations, and frameworks issued by each of the “best practice” organizations?
Should patients be “delighted” that the facility providing their care has been awarded a certification, an accreditation, an award, or named to a Top 100 list?
Instead of patients being “delighted” by all of these awards and badges, isn’t it a common expectation? In order for a facility to earn a patients trust, business, or to meet their needs, isn’t this a minimum requirement?
Internally, to a healthcare organization, I agree that the awards and recognitions need to be celebrated. It takes a lot of time, effort, and team work to achieve this level of acknowledgement. It takes even more time, effort, and team work to maintain this level of care.
Externally, in my opinion, it doesn’t have the same impact.
Most patients do not know the Joint Commission, let alone what JCO does as it relates to hospitals and healthcare. (they make most organizations shake in their boots as soon as they arrive onsite) Same for MBAQIP, NAPBC, ACoS-COC, and all of the other 100’s of acronyms our awards and recognitions carry with them.
Again, why should patients care?
I equate all of the awards, badges, recognition, and certifications in healthcare to “flair.”
What is flair?
If you have seen the movie Office Space, you know what I am referring to when I say flair. Flair is the number of pins or badges that one places on their uniform to express themselves. Watch the following clip:
I agree that hospitals, clinics, and healthcare organizations need to “express themselves.” It is important to celebrate all of your flair. However, please do the celebrating internally.
Remember: if a PATIENT cannot draw a straight line from your organizations flair to their own self, then it doesn’t matter. It is your responsibility to provide the “so what” answer to patents. Why they should care, and what it means to their care.
If you don’t, then just like Joanna, patients have every right to quit and give you the birdie.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek