We all know how the saying goes, “When you assume, it makes an ass of you and me.”
I relearned this lesson myself this week.
When you work in healthcare you are accustomed to processes. Whether it is delivering care to patients, delivering information to ordering and referring physicians, ordering exams and tests, there are processes to ensure patients are safe and cared for appropriately.
Working in the medical technology space there are numerous processes as well. It can be marketing to physicians and patients, selling a product or service, having a meeting with physicians or healthcare executives, servicing equipment or filing for FDA approvals, our world is filled with processes.
This week I ran into a process that I expected everyone to already know and understand. I expected that since I was “new” it was less about me knowing the process and more about communicating. Trying to give visibility to potential end users so that they are not caught off guard. Communicating as a professional courtesy, not as a requirement of the process.
This is where my misstep happened.
I assumed that everyone else understood the process. Instead of causing awareness and empowering the end users with information, it caused anxiety, panic, and duress.
It reminded me in the danger of making assumptions.
That an assumption can instantaneously take a positive action and change it into a negative action. It can derail forward motion and cause a sudden halt in progress.
It reminded me in the importance of going back to the basics. Begin by explaining the process. Set expectations. Remind everyone that when you trust in the process things go according to plan.
Whether it is direct patient care, medical technology, or in our daily lives, processes need to be understood at the N of 1.