Many of us that work on a daily basis inside of healthcare often feel that we have insight into the patient experience. We fundamentally believe that because we have used a hospital or clinic services, that we understand what it is like to be a “patient.”
I vehemently disagree with this belief.
The challenge is that often times the people working within healthcare are like semi’s; We know the rules of the road, we understand the language, we know how to accelerate and we are familiar with the flow of medicine.
If it happens to be a topic that is out of our own domain of expertise, we know how to get an escort that puts us back into the fast lane.
Yet the vast majority of patients (those with little to no healthcare/medical work experience) end up in smaller vehicles.
Vehicles that move slower.
Vehicles that are manual.
Patients are left to navigate to an unknown destination and trying to find a station that is playing their song. (how do I get from point A to B, and is this the right recommendation for my diagnosis)
Many times patients are lost. Driving in the wrong direction, at the wrong speed, and without any guidance.
By the time patients find their way back they are left without enough fuel to arrive at their final destination.
For those of us that work inside of healthcare, we need to acknowledge that we do not understand the patient journey.
We need to check our ego at the door.
We need to ask if we can ride in the passenger seat, buckle up, and kindly ride in silence so we can observe and develop the compassion for what it is like to be a patient.
Only then can we begin to develop a new map that improves the patient journey. The creates a different patient experience.
An experience that determines success at the N of 1.
As always feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter as @cancergeek