Our healthcare problems are not new. We have been having these conversations for decades. It’s just that now there are changes that are happening in healthcare all at once – the cost of care skyrockets as baby boomers are retiring, more people are struggling to navigate our increasingly complex systems, regulation increases, complex IT and electronic health records get in the way, etc. It’s simply more difficult for patients to get the quality of service they need and for caregivers to deliver it to them.
Quality of care has always been a pertinent topic. As a vascular surgeon, I know technical excellence is essential, but I discovered there is more to the equation. If I was able to create a relationship of trust and optimism with my patients, they always did better clinically. And if I created a relationship of suspicion and fear, results could be dramatically worse even if the surgery was technically perfect; longer stays, more pain medicine & disability, and maybe a readmission.
I wrote a paper (“Service Quality in Health Care“) as a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Business School almost 14 years ago. Read it through and ask yourself, does this stillsound familiar? Have you had similar experience? Tell us about it and give us some ideas about how we can really start to make a difference for patients. It’s a great opportunity to think, act and adapt.