Yesterday I spent six hours in the Emergency Room at Edward Hospital in Naperville, Illinois. No one goes to the ER to hang out or have fun. I went there because I was experiencing enormous pain. I had narrowed down the cause. I was either going into labor or having a kidney stone attack. It was a decidedly unpleasant sensation.
But all things considered, it was a wonderful experience.
Why? It was because of Jason, the orderly who carted me to x-ray. He explained where we were going and what I should expect. More than that, his easy way and quick laugh put me at ease. It is obvious he loves helping others.
It was because of Jill, one of my nurses, who is part of the community she serves. Jill shared a barber with me at a St. Baldrick’s event and then walked alongside me at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. She is sweet, personable, and professional. It is obvious she loves her job.
It was because of Tracie, another nurse, who came to Edward Hospital six months ago from another regional hospital. She told me she wanted to work at Edward because of its reputation. She said the management team was fantastic, and that she plans to retire here. It is obvious she loves the administrators.
It was because of Tom the CAT scan tech who, like Tracie, came from another regional hospital. Tom told me he knew eight years before that he wanted to work at Edward Hospital, but openings are rare because no one ever leaves. When I told him how wonderful everyone was at Edward, he asked, “Can you be sure to tell your nurses? I’m sure they would appreciate hearing that.” It is obvious Tom loves his colleagues.
It was because of Dr. Wilson, the knowledgeable, charismatic ER doctor. I never imagined he had other patients. He took his time with me, answered questions, and made me laugh. I’m secure enough in my manhood to admit I had a guy-crush on him. I think it’s called Amsterdam Syndrome when you fall in love with your drug dealer. It is obvious he loves people.
Hospitals are a place where you expect to see plenty of medical degrees, technologies, processes, and protocols. All hospitals have them. The difference between good hospitals and great ones is the people. Find a group of people who love serving others, love their jobs, love their administrators, love their colleagues, and love people–and you have a recipe for fantastic outcomes.
All businesses employ people who have some level of proficiency, utilize some semblance of technology, and purport some sense of unifying purpose. But few businesses know how to put all of those elements together to create something spectacular.
Hat’s off to you, Edward Hospital! I’m not saying I want to live there. But if all goes well, I wouldn’t mind dying there someday.