As I was leaving the hospital the other day, I started thinking about first impressions.
I know it may sound somewhat odd, but perhaps thinking backward is the best way to explain it.
I really believe that the initial impression of a hospital is so extraordinarily important; first impressions leave a lasting impression on a patient.
I was once told a story about a patient who went to one of the top academic medical centers in the country for complex cardiac surgery.
The surgery was successful and the care was great.
But a Kleenex is what left a lasting impression on the patient.
Apparently, as he awakened in his room after the operation, there was a Kleenex sitting on the counter.
It sat there for the duration of his stay in that room. And it was the one and only thing he remembered about the room and the experience.
Because of that Kleenex, the patient said he had concerns about the overall cleanliness of the facility, despite the excellent care he received.
It’s a lesson we can all learn from. It’s often times the little things that make the difference.
We can do a lot to ensure a patient’s first impression is favorable; one that ensures and supports the cleanliness, efficiency and effectiveness of the hospital.
Beyond an environment that looks positive, it’s part of our job in health care to approach patients with a smile and helpful attitude.
It’s just one more thing that I think can reinforce the general healing environment of a hospital. And make patient’s happier (and more satisfied) with the care.