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Language of Caring Blog

The Language of Caring® team shares opinions, questions, essays, links, and suggestions to spark comments and ongoing conversation about challenges related to improving the patient, family and coworker experience.   Thought-provoking insights for healthcare leaders, physicians and staff.

May 11, 2016
The Role of Leadership in Patient Experience
Chris Woods, BSN, RN
Patient Experience Officer at Murphy Medical Center, Murphy, NC

The patient experience is increasingly important in people’s choice of healthcare providers. There is no longer tolerance for a facility that excels at healing but lacks empathy and compassion toward patients. Patients want to feel well holistically, not just symptomatically. Because in today’s competitive market, patients compare healthcare to other service industries, a healthcare facility needs to couple clinical expertise with service that matches or exceeds hospitality industries. Healthcare leaders have to accept this change. There are no exemptions.

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April 14, 2016
The EHR and Patient Engagement
Wendy Leebov, Ed.D.
Partner & Founder, Language of Caring, LLC

I was recently speaking to a roomful of physicians about communication skills that promote patient engagement.  Not five minutes after I began, one physician exclaimed, “I hope you’re going to talk about how impossible it is to engage patients when you have to use the EHR!” A groundswell of his colleagues responded, “Yes, yes, yes!”

There is no question that dealing with a tech device like the Electronic Health Records while talking with a patient is challenging.  But the EHR doesn’t have to interfere with patient-physician conversations, nor does it need to impede patient engagement or negatively affect the patient experience.

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March 8, 2016
Under-Promise and Over-Deliver: Adjusting Patient Expectations
Wendy Leebov, Ed.D.
Partner & Founder, Language of Caring, LLC

Last week, I was waiting at the doctor’s office. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Several times, the receptionist told me, “It won’t be long.” But it seemed excruciatingly long…and the receptionist’s repeated empty promises only made the wait more annoying, as the clock ticked and I sat there with no idea how much longer it really would be before the doctor would see me. It was not a positive patient experience.

Adjust patient’s expectations: Under-promise and over-deliver.

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February 10, 2016
Planning for Sustainability by Wearing Four Hats
Wendy Leebov, Ed.D.
Partner & Founder, Language of Caring, LLC

As is true with any challenging organizational priority, progress in enhancing the patient experience over the long haul takes an enduring vision, periodic stock-taking, planning, and implementation — and then more stock taking, planning, and implementation in an endless cyclical process.

Borrowing the four hats of the creative person developed by Roger Von Oech in A Kick in the Seat of the Pants, members of your patient experience steering team need to act as explorers, artists, judges, and warriors in order to press your strategy forward.

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