At Your Service

Ever show up at a new location for an important event or meeting, maybe a new city, say a hotel or large office building, and your first response is: “Where am I, and where do I go?”

I certainly have (unfortunately that is happening to me even when I go to an old location!).

No map or sign ever seems to be good enough to navigate, although I do like instructions like “follow the yellow arrow.” 

Isn’t it great when someone takes the time to direct you and escort you to where you need to go?

Coming to a large, hospital in an unfamiliar city to navigate your way through an already complex System, is … quite frankly, overwhelming.

As we work toward making it simple to get around a very large institution like Henry Ford Hospital, we have learned from the hotel industry that there is no substitute for a person to help patients through an anxiety.

Regardless of where you’re traveling, it is not uncommon to be assisted by a concierge team when checking into your hotel. You may be greeted by a concierge member who shares with you any necessary information you may need for your stay and he or she is available at any time to answer your questions and concerns.

When coming to a new hospital and clinic, this type of service is vital to lessen the stress and make sure the patient and family can concentrate on the medical issues and return to health.

I was given the opportunity to shadow Delise Baker, one of Henry Ford Hospital’s concierge members  from the Referring Physician’s Office.

With approximately 40 percent of outstate growth patients coming to the hospital from more than 35 miles away, this is not only an added customer service amenity for our patients – it’s a necessity. Continue reading

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Dr. Clean: Shadowing an OR Custodian

If there’s one thing that Walk in My Shoes proves, it’s that every one of our employees at Henry Ford Hospital plays an important role in patient care. Not to mention, it really highlights what an incredibly talented and customer service-orientated team we have here.

This time around, I had the opportunity to shadow one of our dedicated operating room custodians, Katrina Walker.

Wasting no time, Katrina put me to work.

Mop in hand, Katrina showed me the proper cleaning techniques used in the OR. (I just hope my wife doesn’t see this and get any ideas).

In all seriousness, I hope everyone understands how hard this work is, physically demanding, on your feet, and orchestrating all the activities to keep the operating room flowing.

Similar to the actual surgeries, each case is treated differently, with different equipment and techniques used to clean each time. Katrina and her team religiously scrub each room for infection control purposes, giving repetitive attention to each crevice and necessary detail.

Not only do I admire Katrina’s dedication and spirit, but also the pure speed and efficiency at which she is able to work.

Did you know the custodians only have 3 to 5 minutes to turn over a room in the OR? Continue reading

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Walk Down Memory Lane

I have been fortunate enough to walk in the shoes of some of our outstanding employees, and as a result, have gotten to know many of them.

During my most recent Walk in My Shoes experience, I was able to visit an old friend and colleague, O’Neal Sanders.

O’Neal is a respiratory therapist with 40 years of experience and knowledge at Henry Ford Hospital. For years, I walked alongside O’Neal as a pulmonary physician, but never truly “walked” in his shoes. I was curious as to what keeps him passionate about his job, what he does every day, and how things have changed in his profession.

Not surprisingly, O’Neal is just as passionate about his job today as he was 40 years ago.

While it feels like just yesterday when we battled as young men on the basketball court, it was obvious how much respiratory therapy has changed over the years.

The technology has expanded tremendously, allowing for safer and more efficient ways to treat the patient.

Respiratory therapists are now able to help patients with life support, using novel inhaled treatments like nitric oxide and helium, newer forms of mechanical ventilation, airway management and breathing treatments, among many other things.

Despite these changes, O’Neal has taught both the students he interacts with on a daily basis, as well as his colleagues, the importance of listening to the patient. Continue reading

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Ride in My Shoes: Shadowing a Henry Ford Police Officer

Not long ago, I spent some time walking in the shoes of Richard Ford, an electrician at Henry Ford Hospital who handles everything from keeping the music playing in the hallways to maintaining our overhead paging and fire systems.

This time around, I spent some time “riding” in the shoes of John Snitgen, a dedicated police officer who has worked at Henry Ford Hospital for more than 10 years.

John and our entire security team are responsible for keeping our hospital campus safe, and I learned more about some of the complexities our police officers face.

And they’re doing a great job: Thanks to our police officers, the crime rates on our campus are similar to or lower than reported crime rates in many suburban cities, such as downtown Birmingham.

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“Undercover Boss” Is Something Every CEO Should Do (Minus The Disguise)

If you could walk in anyone’s shoes, who’s would it be?

When asked that question, I bet a good percentage of the population would pick their favorite celebrity, or somebody they have yet to meet.

While there is nothing wrong with wanting to shadow the crazy lives of Jay- Z, Lady Gaga or George Clooney (personally, I’d like to follow the life of Dr. Dre, given our professional kinship), the television show “Undercover Boss” gives this concept a meaningful twist.

In “Undercover Boss,” we see leadership literally step into the shoes of their employees to see what an average day is like at their company – the challenges, the rewards, the areas for improvement.

It’s really an intriguing concept – something that every CEO could do, regardless of their field (but perhaps without the fake mustaches and other disguises).

It’s something that I’ve just begun to do at Henry Ford Hospital.

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