“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?” – Thoreau
Yesterday I spoke in Las Vegas at the Dignity Health Patient Experience Summit. They started with this four minute video, released recently by the Cleveland Clinic, titled “Empathy.” It’s so powerful that I found myself in tears, seriously, as I watched. It starts with those words from Thoreau.
I think without exception everyone who wants to improve medicine should watch this, including people on the patient side, the provider side, insurance, government, media, everyone. It reminds me of the “Walking Gallery of Healthcare” from Regina Holliday (Wikipedia) because it makes us conscious of the story that each of us carries around.
Dignity Health is one of the health systems that’s actively retooling itself for the new rules and era of American medicine. Formerly known as Catholic Healthcare West, a few years back they had bottom-of-the-barrel patient satisfaction scores as a chain; new leadership has been pulling things up, making changes where necessary, and they’re now middle-of-the pack, some above 50%ile and some below. My impression is that the current leadership “gets it” and is authentically doing the work, waking people up and producing change.
(Disclaimer: of course, they paid me to speak.)
It’s the second time in a week my feelings have been so deep about a conference video that I’ve cried. The previous one was a week ago in Napa, California. That one was a training video, a re-enactment of actual events that unfolded into a tragedy. It was skillfully produced and so painful that I had to leave the room – it pains me even now to recall watching that story unfold. (It was a meeting of CSHRM, the California Society of Hospital Risk Managers. These people work in the aftermath of medical disasters – well, they don’t call them that, but when there’s a lawsuit or potential one because of a horrible error, I say it’s a disaster. And, naturally, they work to understand causes.
This video has almost 100,000 views in its first two weeks, and I’m sure it’s headed for a million. I think it will be important in altering people’s experience of being in a hospital, and that’s a good thing.