Category Archives: #ptexp

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 or follow me on Twitter @cancergeek



Healthcare Leaders, Thanks For Your Feedback!


Earlier this week I participated in the weekly #HCLDR tweet chat (transcript). The topic this week was all about “Flipping The Complaint” in healthcare. (post here)

One of the key questions discussed was Topic 3: How have you learned from complaints you have received?

One of my comments was that I always ask for feedback. I want to know that my intent matched my story, and if I miss, or if the perception varies, then listening to feedback helps me to understand how to improve.

Little did I know that 24 hours later I would be in an ironic situation.

thumbs up thumbs downI posted an article late last night highlighting a tweet.

The tweet came from someone I deeply respect, and it was meant to highlight a “positive” fact. I wanted to demonstrate how a fact sent out by someone that is deeply respected could be an opportunity for an organization. If the organization could add context, content, and the right story they could bring additional meaning and value to their patients, their community, and their tribe.


I was informed that even though my intent was good, that my story missed its mark. So as a professional courtesy, I removed the post.

Which reminded me of Tuesday’s #HCLDR conversation, “Flip The Complaint.”

I realize that I will not always be perfect in my storytelling. I realize that my point of view will not always be understood, be supported, acknowledged, or liked by everyone.

I realize that I can be thought provoking, I can be challenging, and that my lens does not always agree with the “insiders” of healthcare.

I am not here to please everyone. I am here to ask the difficult questions. To push boundaries. I am here to help think outside our normal lens of healthcare and to pull in the lens of patients, the lens of other industries, and the lens from a global perspective. I am here to change the status quo, one patient at a time.

In order to be a change agent, a student of “Health and Care Radicals,” I realize that feedback is necessary, mandatory, and needed. I know that I need to listen to all of it. I may not need to take action with every piece of feedback, but fI need to listen to it. Feedback is what will ensure that I always tie my daily work directly back to patients. Feedback will help to measure my ability to make the right change at the right time.

Thank you.

Thank you to my tribe. Thank you to those that take the time to read. Thank you to those that care enough to provide comments, send emails, and leave feedback. Thank you to the patients, the physicians, healthcare organizations, and the payers that have been bold enough to let me question everything, and design new models with improved patient impact.

Thank you for caring enough to leave feedback.

Feedback matters.

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