Sunday, March 13, 2011

Lessons from a Polar Bear

This afternoon my kids and took part in the Martin City St. Patrick's Day parade. My family was asked to ride on the Zoo Tram handing out stickers and waving to the crowd. It was great watching one of the volunteers as he tried to set-up the inflatable Polar Bear. First, he actually went inside and a portable machine blew it up. When he started straining his back, he stepped out of the bear and held it in place as it was a major showcase for the parade. I was so impressed to hear him say that he was a volunteer with the zoo and hoped to shape the experience of visitors. And today, he wanted to shape the experience of those watching the parade.

This reminded me of the role every volunteer, associate and physician plays in hospitals. We all play a role in shaping the experience of our patients. This is evaluated through HCAHPS (pronounced “H-caps”), also known as the CAHPS® Hospital Survey. It is a survey instrument and data collection methodology for measuring patients’ perceptions of their hospital experience.

And back at the parade...I noticed that the larger your wave and louder your cheers, the better the parade experience was for the spectators. Enjoy celebrating St. Patrick's Day this week.

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