You are late for work and are distracted by the busy day ahead. While checking your email on your phone you walk briskly past an elderly couple who look scared and confused. You don’t acknowledge them or ask if they need assistance and continue on your way. What you didn’t know was that this couple was here to visit their son, who was involved in a serious accident. All this couple wanted was to see their son. What they needed was someone to welcome them and to provide directions. I am sure every one of us has walked by someone who could use our help. Sometimes we forget that we have the privilege of caring for patients and families who come to us for help at a time when they are most vulnerable. Even when things are hectic, we need to take a moment and remember that our patients and their loved ones are our most important guests … and that providing good service is part of providing excellent clinical care.
Last July, we held the fourth Annual UF Health Quality Retreat, which focused on improving service, hospitality and the patient experience. An important output of that retreat was the development of the UF Health Hospitality and Service Standards. These standards will help support the welcoming and attentive experience we all desire for ourselves and those we serve. Over the coming months, these standards will be rolled out across UF Health.
In the meantime, we should all challenge ourselves to be more welcoming and supportive to our patients and families. Let’s always remember to see things through our patients’ eyes and strive to make every interaction warm and welcoming for every patient and family member.