What are some of the leadership engagement strategies implemented at NMC Healthcare in the pursuit of achieving patient excellence?
NMC has always felt that if we take excellent care of our employees, they will in turn take excellent care of our patients. This is where our company motto “Every patient matters. Every employee counts.” stems from. We have placed a great amount of effort in assembling the right clinicians, dedicated to the highest quality of care, but also the right customer service and front office staff to care for our patients. Our facility leadership rounds frequently on patients and staff to check the pulse of the organization and to ensure that our customers are happy. NMC is now a company with facilities spanning 17 countries. It is evident now more than ever that people use social media and word of mouth to determine where to seek medical care. When a patient leaves one of our facilities satisfied, that message reverberates across multiple channels.
The business of healthcare is very stressful. I often use the analogy that “we are not a frozen yogurt franchise”. Healthcare is a very personal and serious business. When you walk into a shop to buy an ice cream, you are generally in a great mood. Patients present to a healthcare facility because they have a physical or mental condition that needs attention and they are generally pensive. This is stressful to the patient and their loved ones, and it is unrealistic to think that stress doesn’t transfer to the dedicated people who treat them. NMC will see over 8,000,000 patients across the world this year. In every country and every culture, regardless of race, religion, or gender, people respond the same to uncertainty when it comes to their health. Insuring that the pressure our staff members feel when they are juggling many things and empathetically taking on the task of caring for others is always a challenge. Here in the UAE we have recently launched an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) where we conduct workshops and groups to teach our staff how to cope with the responsibility of caring for critical patients. Also, staff can reach out privately and confidentially to meet with our EAP coordinator to help them with personal issues that may be effecting their work.”
What are some of the key approaches in building patient cantered care at NMC Healthcare?
“Not to oversimplify the answer, but in every encounter with each member of every team, we must remind one another that the patient is at the center of all that we do. It’s a responsibility none of us can ever take lightly. We always work to ensure that the departments understand the effect they have on our patients: housekeeping, food services, drivers, front and back office staff, etc. Everyone plays a role in providing patient-centered care. When I speak to our colleagues at the corporate or regional offices, I try to point out that those of us working in administration or finance or support services in a corporate or regional role are not that far removed from patient care either. Every decision that we make trickles back down to the bedside.”
What is your patient experience strategy for 2019?
In 2019 and beyond, we will see technology and innovation play a big part of the patient experience. When I started in this business 30 years ago, if you had told me I would be carrying a small device in my hand that gave me access to real time news, my bank accounts, instant access to peak into the lives of my family and friends, all of my communication and correspondence and that I would know how many steps I took that day, how many calories I consumed and what my heart rate was, I would have thought you had lost your mind! But look at where we are in 2018. NMC will continue to focus on the personal and human aspects of caring for our patients, because it is the foundation of what we do. But we are now placing a lot of time and resources into seeing how technology can innovate and disrupt the way we deliver care and how that can enhance the patient experience. I can’t wait to see where the industry goes over the next few years and NMC is excited to be part of it.
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