There’s a lot of administration-buzz about “patient experience.”

At it’s basest level, it seems to involve turning highly educated and knowledgable healthcare professionals into retail clerks, with patients as “customers” and as we’ve all heard: the “customer” is always right.

But is that really what patient experience is about? Could happy and engaged healthcare professionals mean happy and engaged patients? Dr. James Riddell (University of Michigan Infectious Disease Professor and my brother-in-law) returns to discuss the ins and outs of the patient experience on my front porch because that’s where the ish goes down, y’all.

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2 Responses to “2 Docs Ponder: Does The Patient Experience Matter?”

  1. Will

    Man! Literalism in the USA. Do we blame the bible thumpers or the engineers? “The Customer Is Always Right”, IIRC, was a motivational phrase used for salesmen in the 1920s, to encourage better customer service. This has now turned into a literal gospel. University students are “customers”. Ill patients are “customers”. In America (and I’m a Canuckistani-Australian, therefore communist) the sheer COST of medical care — administration, co-pays, the sheer uncertainty of whether you’ll be financially ruined — causes huge anxiety and then the “Customer” mentality. Sh!t, if I’m paying $50 for a band-aid, then damn right I’m a “customer” cuz all I see is mark-up, not the behind-the-scenes costs. I never thought I’d quote Nancy Reagan, but “Just Say NO!” Some professionals, like university professors and doctors should be given the absolute right to say NO! No demanding drugs or treatment for self-diagnosis. No degrees, even if you paid foreign fees, when you’re an epic fail. It has to return to “I’m the expert here, and what you demand ain’t what I’m gonna give, cuz that’s not what you need.” Even advertising legend David Ogilvy said “give you client what they *need*, not what they want.” If they insist on their customer rights, you can say “OK, but it’s totally against my better judgment, and I do not recommend it. Once you try it, you will see.” And if they come back, with lousy results, yet thinking they are geniuses — give them the boot. I got sacked by my own GP because I showed up for a psych-talk session crying and smelling of 1/2 a bottle of wine. Earlier that day I lost my funding for my psychologist, lost my supportive girlfriend — and then my female GP. (as background, I’m “ambivalently attached” as it is). Some professions need to be lifted up beyond the level of sales clerk, cuz respect. Unforch, there are POS GPs who give 6-minute consults, interrupt the patient after 20 seconds, and hand out Oxy like it was Hallowe’en candy. Those guys wreck the system and add so much stress to the real doctors out there. Fight the good fight! PS: I hope you are not onselling email addresses to monetise your web contributions. Your opinions and videos still rock tho. Peace.

  2. Terrie Fenton

    As both a nurse and sometimes a patient I feel you need to just be honest with the patients and tell them that your day was involuntarily reorganized because of ??????. We just want honesty and transparency.


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