"I'll take the chest pain value work-up."
"An EKG with a side of blood work. Any toppings today?"
"Sure how about aspirin, nitroglycerin and dilaudid. Morphine makes
"Would you like a CXR with that?"
"No, I want to supersize that to a CT scan."
"That will be an extra $2,000; is that okay?"
"Sure, why not!"
"Okay that will be $50 with your co-pay; anything else?"
"Yes, make it snappy!"
if you've ever ordered fast food over the counter, you'll know that once you get to the front of the queue & you've made your order, the food comes pretty fast & furious. it's what we've come to expect, so you can imagine at some time in the future, we might just demand medical help ASAP.
we all can't bear waiting at A&Es, or at any hospital department, for that matter. everything seems to go at slow-motion & what's worse than waiting is waiting WITHOUT explanation.
patient satisfaction is one area that hospitals try hard to improve. even as a patient, i don't mind too much how high the quality of care is, as long as it's reasonable. & as long as the pain is relieved, the swelling reduced or the bleeding stopped, i'm quite happy. throw in doctors & nurses who are emphathetic & can communicate well, then forgive me for thinking i'm in 7th heaven!
the only thing out of control is waiting time. hospitals can work on this by setting expectations & providing explanations.
by setting expectations, the patients are informed of the timing of each step of their workup. here the business principle of "under-promise, over-deliver" is practised. by setting an estimated time that can be met 99% of the time, patients are more likely to be pleasantly surprised when less time than expected is spent on waiting.
however, in the 1% chance of time over-run, explanation should be given to the patients, & apologies extended if appropriate & an updated encounter timeline offered. patients understand difficult situations when these concerns are conveyed to them.
we're still a long way off from providing quick & efficient service in our healthcare system, unlike the way it's done at fast-food joints, but if we can achieve half that customer satisfaction, expect to see
**thanks, T1, for the email**