Advice: Healthcare Isn’t Rocket Science, Just Listen

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Day 2: Define a Point of View

After spending a day at the Chateau De Versailles my team came back together to go over our interviews, share the stories, write down our observations, and to share any photographs, video, or other items we may have collected as part of our immersion in Day 1.

We then took all of our information and went into another room where we saw this on the wall:

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We were then led through an exercise to divide all of our notes, stories, pictures, and other items into 2 different groups on the left: Say / See

Each of us took the time to place our notes and observations into either  information that we gathered through interviewing and talking with visitors to the Chateau De Versailles, or information that we observed during our immersion.

Then the task become really interesting. For each item we placed in the Say / See category, we then had to create a corresponding piece of information focused on what the person or persons were either thinking or feeling at that specific time.

Some of us had asked specific questions that allowed people to share their feelings with us, so it wasn’t always difficult to draw conclusions. Yet for some items we had written down, there was more thought that went into trying to understand the thought process or the feelings of the visitors at that very specific moment in time.

Once we were done with the exercise we watched this wonderful video from Simon Sinek “Start With Why”:

Which set us up for the last task of the day: Defining the Point Of View

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We were told to go back to our rooms, review our tables, our notes, and then  consider the various people we met, and their potential needs.

We did this in the following manner:

1. User: We met “fill in the blank”

2. Need: We were amazed to realize …….

3. Insight: It would CHANGE the world if ……

In performing this exercise, we identified the type of person(s) and their needs that we wanted to address:

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Visitors to the Chateau De Versailles that have a “mobility” issue. We defined mobility as any person or persons that had any difficulty in getting around the Chateau De Versailles. It could be a family member with a child in a stroller or buggy. It could be a person that needs to use a wheel chair. It could be a woman wearing high heels. It could be a person with a broken leg on crutches. It could be someone that is blind. It could be a general visitor that is experiencing a language barrier and is having difficulty finding their way around the Chateau De Versailles.

5 takeaways from Day 2 as applied to healthcare:

1. All of us know what we do, but how many of us understand why we do it?

2. Taking time away from our productivity, our schedule, our cube farm to sit in a waiting room, or an exam room, or in the cafeteria allows us to live, breathe, see, hear, touch, and taste in the same manner as our patients. Ten minutes a day is a minimum.

3. People do not always act and say what they think and feel

4. We all have basic needs. Address the needs to enable the wants.

5. People like us, do things like this.

In my experience I believe that few of us take the time to think about “why” we do the work we do, or why our company does the work it does, or “why” we believe in the things we hold important.

This reminds me of a conversation I had with a former classmate during my first job out of college. I happened to be treating this person for cancer, and they told me the following:

I am so glad you are here. I am so happy that I can walk in and see you each day before, during, and after my treatment. I was scared, nervous, and full of anxiety. Once I saw you, I knew it would all be okay. You were a familiar face, but more importantly, you listen to me.

That was the single most defining moment in my career, just weeks out from graduation. To realize that my purpose in life is to change the world by simply listening to patients.

Healthcare isn’t rocket science. All you have to do is listen.

The problem in healthcare is that we prefer to listen to ourselves. We like to listen to other healthcare leaders, industry experts, consultants, and professional societies.

The answer is simple: Listen to patients.

Address patients needs and it enables everything else.

All you have to do is listen….to patients.

As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek

~CancerGeek

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