Category Archives: #HCLDR

The Patient Waiting Room Rethought

Photo curtesy of Joseph Babaian (@JoeBabaian)

Yesterday Joe sent this tweet asking the #HCLDR family their opinions on the opportunities for improving the design within the above spaces.

My initial gut reaction, as many other people, was in pointing out the obvious. Things such as the TV, the picture on the wall, the chairs, the framed signed on the table, a lamp that is off, etc.

I even questioned the need for a waiting room? In theory, no patient should have to wait, and therefore, the waiting room could be eliminated.

As I began to ponder the question during my 2 hour drive today, I began to reframe the question in my mind.

Instead of asking what is wrong with the space or how to improve the design or the need for a waiting room, I started to think about challenges patients highlight.

Topics that we discuss during the weekly chats of #HCLDR.

What if we reframe and ask ourselves the following:

How can we help patients connect with one another?

In thinking about the space above (left picture specifically), I would rearrange the furniture to be in small circles or groups versus in a line.

Perhaps instead of the local news or Ellen on the TV I would show video’s from YouTube about nutrition, or the clinicians, or an important topic that is relevant to the community of patients congregating.

Maybe I would have a social worker in the space to help facilitate sharing, asking questions, and prepping/introducing those new patients with those that are coming back for a follow up.

Maybe the space should be more about sharing our stories, our common experiences, our fears, our questions with one another and use it as a learning opportunity? Maybe this is the space where we impact health literacy. Or address access to improved nutrition. Or share resources within the community.

Perhaps the space has nothing to do with waiting, but everything with building a tribe of patients that share a common thread and can learn from one each other’s experience.

Perhaps knowing a patient like me, the one sitting next to me, helps me realize that we do things like this.

We connect. We share. We learn. We grow.

Perhaps care at the N of 1 begins by connecting patients in the waiting room?

Let’s rename it the sharing room.

As always you can feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek

~Cancergeek

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Money and Things…


Money and Things

Every day I meet new executives and front line staff that work in healthcare. When I ask them about their organization I get similar responses in regards to number of beds, revenue generated, shown the newest technology. I am informed of all the material things they have accumulated. 

What I want to know are the number of people, as patients, that have been touched, helped, changed, and healed. 

My intention in changing the status quo is to remind all of us to put the #MeInMedicine 

To begin with the humanity of why we show up each day. 

It’s not for a pay check, it’s not to build bigger buildings or acquire new technology, it’s not to keep managers and physicians happy….it’s to provide care at the N of 1. One person, one patient, one problem at a time. 

As always, feel free to leave a comment, connect on Twitter @cancergeek or send me an email: cancergeek@gmail.com

~Cancergeek