EDITOR | True Story | Radical Hospitality in Healthcare: The Face Behind D.O.B. 10.17.13

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My daughter, Karly (July 2017) and our most recent healthcare experience/story — The Face Behind D.O.B. 10.17.13 (you’ll know why she is referenced as a D.O.B. by the end of this story … and not by her actual name … truly disappointing.

“There is a beautiful face and an amazing personality behind this date of birth (D.O.B.) … but the doctor’s and nurses who treated us last month never ‘cared enough’ to see it during our last visit to the exam room.”

“Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is about the little things. Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is not some mythical standard you can never achieve. Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is about being on a Crusade for Common Sense and Dignity in the healthcare delivery experience. That’s why the message of Concierge Medicine [and other private, direct medicine clinics] is not about cost or access … but about early adoption of innovative ideas to improve patient outcomes. We can do better. We should do better. We owe it to our children and our grandchildren to leave an exam room a better place than we found it. Why is it that only in healthcare is respect checked at exam room door by those getting paid to render a service to a customer in need? This is our story … and sadly, the story of just about everyone walking into a doctor’s office, urgent care or hospital today.”

~Michael Tetreault, Father First | Editor | Concierge Medicine Today/The DPC Journal
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Michael Tetreault, Editor

By Michael Tetreault, Editor-in-Chief | Concierge Medicine Today | The DPC Journal | CMT Canada | AJRM

If your practice, the ideas and new ways of health care delivery you’ve designed inside and around your practice are going to stick, they need to address your patient’s pain points–whether they can articulate them or not inside the exam room.

Some of these things are quite simple and effective.

Thankfully, some very smart Concierge Physicians and other healthcare futurists and Direct Care delivery models are thinking about this, as we are writing this to you today.

Sadly, the true story below is my personal record of how healthcare providers and facilities can and should do better and explore what we title Radical Hospitality in Healthcare at Concierge Medicine Today and our other sister publications.

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“I like doctors with jackets …” ~Karly, my daughter; a 3-year old female, patient; Atlanta, GA; True Story; June 2017

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Let’s start with something simple. My Story.

 

This is a true, real life account of my 3-year old daughter and I from this summer (with photos to support and emphasize more direct points of view).

Jon Burgstone and Bill Murphy, Jr. authored a story in Fast Company entitled Why Customers Pain Is Your Most Important Resource in 2012 and wrote “At the most basic level, people typically spend money on two things:  First, they readily spend money to combat pain. Second, they spend money to pursue pleasure.”

Here’s the link to the full article which I would encourage you to read … https://www.fastcompany.com/1844165/why-customer-pain-your-most-important-resource

DocPreneur THOUGHTS 2016

The cost of a commercial grade box of tissues is less than $0.79 each. The cost of an entire pack of disposable antibacterial sanitary wipes is less than $0.12 each (or $2.99 for a container of 40) — and let’s say you use four to clean the wall per occurrence. For less than $1.27 PLUS, some common sense and a little kindness, the mythical idea of Radical Hospitality in Healthcare could be implemented.

Here’s my personal story from last month (June 2017) which correlates to Pain Points and Pleasure Points, Memory and Healthcare Delivery.

True Story.

My wife, Kelly and our three kids (all under the age of 10) were on vacation in the mountains of North Georgia. We went for lunch to a very popular local area restaurant. We had been there before and loved it. It was more or less, a tradition when we would drive through the area on our way to our vacation destination.

True Story | Personal File | Michael Tetreault | Editor-in-Chief | June/July 2017 — A few minutes of chatter and laughter later, my 3-year-old daughter, Karly fell on the wooden porch chasing my son in a game of tag. She ripped a hole in her leggings, cried for a few brief moments and then the real adventure began.

 

Well, after a lovely and filling meal, the family and I went outside to the porch area to enjoy the views of the area and sit on the rocking chairs characteristic of any southern-style porch. You get the picture, I’m sure.

A few minutes of chatter and laughter later, my 3-year-old daughter, Karly fell on the wooden porch chasing my son in a game of tag. She ripped a hole in her leggings, cried for a few brief moments and then the real adventure began.

Enter, the splinter.

Not just any splinter mind you, but it had lodged itself so deep that we knew this was not simply a tweezer solution.

We then rushed back to the house, inspected the wound and started searching for Urgent Care and Pediatric healthcare clinics in the unfamiliar area.

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The Car Ride Was More Than Two Hours To A Facility With a 3 Star Review or More …

Mind you, at this point; we were about 2.5 hours away from our Pediatric Practice and 2.5 hours from our Private Medicine practice as well.

Google noted that the Urgent Care facilities in the area ranked at a whopping 2.3 out of 5 stars.

“That’s not gonna happen,” said my wife, Kelly.

So, I did what any good Dad would do and gently put my daughter in her car seat and began the long drive home to our area while calling the Pediatric office to see what they wanted to do. They recommended the local kids/urgent care facility as they were better equipped.

Really, better “equipped?” Her pediatrician’s office remarked. ‘If you can’t get it, we can’t get it …’

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In Your Time of Need … Concierge Medicine & DPC Doctors & Other Physicians Can Now Refer Their Patients to Qualified Surgeons Based on Actual Medical Outcomes– Think Credit Scores But for Hospitals and Surgeons Based On Real, Patient Outcomes

As we arrived at the Kid-friendly healthcare facility in the Atlanta area, my wife had conveniently timed my GPS arrival with the online Save My Spot feature through the facilities website … a service that at the time, was quite convenient given the rush hour traffic and situation.

Upon arriving, the slew of questions, paperwork, and real insurance seminar began. All the while mind you, my 3-year-old daughter is teary-eyed, somewhat smiling at times, stiff-legged and in some amount of tolerable pain and sitting in my lap.

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man behind mon

The face behind the insurance seminar … Uh-hem, I mean, facility …

I never actually saw the ladies face. Rather, I saw the rear end/backside of a Dell monitor and her eyes bounce back and forth on the screen. (See monitor picture for a more descriptive and vivid portrayal)

One in Five People Suffer Some Kind of Injury on Vacation . . .

Tip! Before you leave on that trip, text your Private Medicine Physician directly and let him/her know you are planning to leave and to possibly be “on alert.” If truly one in five individuals is injured on vacation AND, you are a long ways away from each other … you want to be sure that you and your physician can connect. He/she may not be able to see you directly, however, your physician can be an important navigator in your time of crisis. That my friends, is priceless.

According to a CBS Baltimore news story recently, they noted that a new survey found that about 20% of people have an accident, get sick, or suffer some kind of an injury on vacation. It’s because people push themselves to try new things on vacation . . . and whether that means eating stuff your stomach can’t handle or trying something that’s too physically challenging, it can lead to you getting sick or hurt. Food poisoning is the most common way people get hurt on vacation. Car or bike accidents are second, and skiing accidents are third.

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man behind mon

Almost humorous at this point [and I wish I had the picture to go with it …], but the insurance and forms cube where they had us sitting while doing the paperwork … was quite surreal. I never actually saw the ladies face. Rather, I saw the rear end/backside of a Dell monitor and her eyes bounce back and forth on the screen. (See monitor picture for a more descriptive and vivid portrayal)

Forty minutes later, along with reviewing children’s books that were disgusting and untouchable, we entered an exam room. I know what you’re thinking Did the “Save My Spot” technology save any time?

Nope. Not really.

Another 25-minutes later, we are greeted by a Nurse who interprets the problem [e.g. large splinter deeply embedded in knee – insert DIAGNOSIS CODE here] lol.

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PIC A-4 – The “organic” material can be seen quite easily on the wall … and for a healthcare facility, a few sanitary or disinfecting wipes would have easily made this area much cleaner. Meanwhile, the blue paint on the wall behind the closed door where little hands and fingers like to go was littered with what I can only assume was organic gifts left behind by previous patients. (See picture Above)

Meanwhile, the blue paint on the wall behind the closed door where little hands and fingers like to go was littered with what I can only assume was organic gifts left behind by previous patients. (See PIC A-4)

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PIC A-5 – The children’s books were out of reach, no doubt a design decision executed purposefully because of a conversation about parent/consumer psychology in a board room somewhere years before our visit.

The children’s books were out of reach, no doubt a design decision executed purposefully because of a conversation about parent/consumer psychology in a board room somewhere years before our visit. (See PIC A-5)

RELATED STORY | MEDICAL OFFICE Insight | Cleaning Habits
Cleaning is an important first step in removing disease-causing germs from the child care environment. If surfaces are not “cleaned,” persistent dirt and organic matter can coat and protect microbes and may cause further heat or chemical disinfection processes to be ineffective.

When you have these type of technology tools inside the practice, USE THEM. You spent good money on putting them in. You were probably even given the option or a significant discount when you installed your Internet for free or discounted cable programming. Make sure you use these tools to enhance the next visit. Next, make sure the programming is educational and not simply meant as a distraction or noise for the children. Parents want to know that you care about their kids as well. “Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is about the little things. Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is not some mythical standard you can never achieve. Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is about being on a Crusade for Common Sense in the healthcare delivery experience.”

The television was nicely placed in the exam room corner near the ceiling. Turned off, of course.

Once the physician came in, she looked at the wound, said a few words, asked a few questions and left. About 5 to 10-minutes of waiting later, the Nurse came back and moved us to a prepped, more serious room.

Enter 20-25 minute surgery, crying, soothing, stitching and fatherly hand-holding here.

After the minor surgery to her knee and stitches were sewed up, the physician took off her gloves and left.

Yes, just left the room. Never to be seen again.

“What?”

Really? No comforting words, no see you later? Just, ‘Okay, we’re done …’ and leaves.

Meanwhile, the television they kindly put on before the event was on something, non-age appropriate and the equivalent of Beavis and Butthead for kids. Thanks for that. That helps my 3-year-old daughter who has Disney Princesses on her dress.

Is there a diagnosis code for caring?

19970558_10213589729562822_1900342532_nSo, after the nurse leaves the room after the event, my daughter is sobbing from the pain. And when I mean sobbing, I mean, hyperventilating, snot, the works.

No lollipop? No tissue’s either. (See picture above)

The cost of a commercial grade box of tissues is less than $0.79 each. The cost of an entire pack of disposable antibacterial sanitary wipes is less than $0.12 each (or $2.99 for a container of 40) — and let’s say you use four to clean the wall per occurrence. For less than $1.27 PLUS, some common sense and a little kindness, the mythical idea of Radical Hospitality in Healthcare could be implemented.

20030886_10213589729282815_1563627004_nAre you kidding me? No tissues! You leave me in a room post-op, with a crying 3-year-old and there are no tissues in the room?!

“I didn’t like the guy …” ~K.T., 3-year old female patient, Atlanta, GA, True Story, June 2017 | Talking about the experience she had with a male nurse during her visit in June 2017.

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And no, the story is not over yet. Keep reading (below).

How much happier would the child and parent be? Wouldn’t it be great if your patients were smiling when you walked in the door verses, ‘it’s about $%& time!’ There’s an alternative to dull, empty exam room paper — healthcare offices should explore. Washable crayons are included also. #WeCanDoBETTER — CLICK HERE …

RELATED STORY
Pediatric WAITING/EXAM ROOM PAPER Alternatives For Family Physicians To Consider — “Invented by a mom who spent enough hours in the pediatrician’s office to know that keeping kids calm and occupied would make doctor’s visits easier on everyone …”
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“We’ve all been here,” says Michael Tetreault, Editor of The DPC Journal and Concierge Medicine Today. “We are waiting in the exam room with our busy, young kids and there’s nothing to do. The kids get frustrated, the parents are frazzled and by the time the doctor walks into the room, everyone is unhappier than when they arrived. That’s not how a doctor’s visit with our children should begin. There is application with this product to enhance the Family Medicine patient-physician-child experience and many other offices. We’re even seeing some doctors put a bow around them and give them to their colleagues as unique, standout gifts. What a way to make a lasting impression.” There’s an alternative to dull, empty exam room paper — healthcare offices should explore. Washable crayons are included also. #WeCanDoBETTER  CLICK HERE …

dr scribbles exam table

WHAT IF YOUR PATIENTS HAD ACCESS TO SOMETHING LIKE THIS WHILE THEY WAIT? HOW MUCH BETTER of A WAITING EXPERIENCE WOULD THAT BE? How much happier would the child and parent be? Wouldn’t it be great if your patients were smiling when you walked in the door verses, ‘it’s about $%& time!’ There’s an alternative to dull, empty exam room paper — healthcare offices should explore. Washable crayons are included also. #WeCanDoBETTER — CLICK HERE …

concierge medicine forum atlanta today 2017I opened the door because of course, I’m not going to let her crying go unnoticed. We’re also not going sit here in this unkempt, post-op room with no tissue’s and linger with no lollipop for another 20 to forty minutes. The staff really should hear what they are dealing with in this facility.

About 10 minutes later, the nurse (a male), comes back to give us some paperwork and talk about treatment and care of the wound. Meanwhile, we finally get an icy freeze in replacement of the lollipop to help calm her nerves. Too little, too late.

A moment or two later, “do you have any questions?” says the nurse.

I reply very politely, “No, but I have some comments. I work in Concierge Medicine, and there are a few things I would do differently next time … ” And then, I proceeded to mention the paint behind the door where little hands go, exam room paper alternatives for children, cleaning the children’s books, bedside manner of the physician, inappropriate television programming, no television programming in one exam room’s case, no tissues and the like.

This was met with “oh, yeah … okay.” And, a healthy side dish of eye rolls and looks of condescension.

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As we were walking out through the hallway, my daughter says sniffing and crying “I like doctors with jackets …”

Background, her Pediatric Physician always wore a kid-approved jacket when we visit her office, thus the jacket comment.

So, now that the true story has concluded and the stitches have dissolved, the pain and pleasure points of the adventure and vacation still linger.

Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is about the little things. Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is not some mythical standard you can never achieve. Radical Hospitality in Healthcare is about being on a Crusade for Common Sense in the Healthcare Delivery Experience. That’s why the message of Concierge Medicine is not about cost or access, but about early adoption of innovative ideas to improve patient outcomes.

There’s a face behind 10.17.13; I suggest you get to know it.

APPLYING WHAT WE’VE ALL LEARNED

We’re all hospitable to family and friends. But it’s hard to be hospitable to strangers and patients—especially when those people are different from us in some way.

I read somewhere recently … Maybe they’re of a different socioeconomic status.  Maybe they have a different level of education. Maybe they come from a different region of the country or world. Those differences can cause us to place people outside of our moral circles, and we will naturally treat them differently—even when the differences are just subtle.

Concierge Medicine, Direct Primary Care, Travel Medicine and the like … challenge us to treat patients in the same way we would, family and friends. They challenge the status-quo. They do not accept normal. Why we accept this as normal makes no sense (when if this happened at any other service solution provided facility like a nice hotel or restaurant, we would be outraged at the service and lack of kindness and just leave). That’s what makes the kind of hospitality we advocate for each day for the past several years in the healthcare delivery experience, radical.

Oh, and did I mention, throughout this story, we were probably asked my daughter’s date of birth at least seven to ten times throughout the ordeal. Not referenced by name mind you, but by ‘D.O.B. please.

Sure, I get why you ask for the D.O.B., over a dozen times during our visit … I just don’t have to like it.

So in summary, there is a face behind 10.17.13; I suggest you get to know it. (See picture above)

19964835_10213589865086210_460907453_n“We were all raised to respect the men and women in white coats, etc. and everyone is afraid to speak up. Patients are afraid to say “NO” or voice their thought/concern on what they would like to be done instead of just letting doctors/nurses/techs just walk in and do whatever. I still respect them [doctors], in fact, I LOVE MY CONCIERGE DOCTOR … he’s amazing. But, I will tell them exactly how I feel about issues and concerns … difference is, my Concierge Doctor actually takes the time to listen.” ~Theresa, Real-Life Concierge Medicine Patient and Advocate for Common Sense in Medicine, July 2017

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