Thursday, December 29, 2016

Why Healthcare Needs to Take Advice From Business Customer Service

Ok - we all know I am not paid to work in the healthcare setting. (Someone gimme a job - I would be fantastic - hehe)

I am not a clinician, or tech, or even a receptionist in any sort of healthcare setting.

But what am I? I am the parent/caregiver of a medically complex child as well as a patient myself.

Oh and I've also spent 18 years in the world of sales.

High pressure sales with lots of goals ranging from sales to warranties to additional items on a sale.

I am pretty much an expert in the idea of customer service. SO - let me get something off my chest.....

Healthcare people - IF I TREATED MY CUSTOMERS THE WAY YOU TREAT YOUR PATIENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES/CAREGIVERS I WOULD NOT HAVE A JOB ANYMORE.

Now I'm not trying to demean anyone or compare what I give to my customers for their hard earned money to what you as members of the society of people who work in healthcare give to their patients - wellness and health are far greater in worth than the shiny rocks I sell everyday.

But I think I could help you with your attitude towards customer service and help you in the process achieve better outcomes for your patients as well as your employees.

See you may call us patients but really we are your customers. We are using our hard earned money to receive healthcare expertise from you. So a smile when I sign in for my daughter's lab draw would probably help ease her tension at the thought of getting poked with a needle - even though she's a rockstar at it.

Your ignoring the waiting room while sitting behind the reception desk does not make your patients feel respected and looked after. When you ignore the comings and goings of the people who are walking in and out of your waiting rooms you are potentially losing customers. Your ignorance of them and unwillingness to acknowledge them may make them want to go someplace else to get services from.

Now you make think "Oh no no, healthcare is different than selling diamonds."

Um no it is not. You are providing a service that I am paying for. Just like I provide sparkly shiny diamonds for large sums of money - which you also choose to charge large sums of money for a few aspirins and a bandaid.

When one of your receptionists knows that a customer - whoops, wait I mean patient - has signed in, as you told them to, still has not been registered or called for the service they are paying for and it's been an hour.....well I can tell you what would've happened if that happened where I work....the customer would walk down the hall to XYZ Jewelers and bought there. We probably also would have received a nasty review on Yelp....

But you all think you're above that. You're not. My time is just as valuable as yours. A 60 second lab draw should not take an hour and a half when the waiting room was about empty and you have two phlebotomy techs.

You think you have no competition. You do. You may not have any competition right in your backyard like I do, but you've got it - and they exist all around you.

People are choosing to go out of state for big procedures - you know the ones that really pay you all's bills - and that's going to affect you. It's kinda like the worry we had over a big time bridal jeweler who moved into the Metro area - we worried all our "big sales" would go to them. But they didn't. Why? Because we chose the route of customer service.

We chose to be knowledgeable, caring and vigilant with our customers needs. But see we didn't just do that for our "full time" sales staff. We did it for everyone - from the top down to the little old lady who works seasonally for us for the employee discount.

Healthcare peeps - you've gotta do that too. You cannot have amazing doctors and really crappy mean faced receptionists who are completely unaware of the people sitting in front of them.

At my job we call this "training". See we train people to sell, we train people to always see the "person" in front of them. And hell all we are doing is selling rocks that actually have no real value - what you all do is where the real value is - and your receptionists can't smile or acknowledge that a patient has been sitting in their waiting room for WAY LONGER than it should be for a lab draw. Even as that receptionist sits staring at the waiting room.

Don't even get me started on the fact that you are a pediatric healthcare facility.....

Take a piece of advice from business customer service healthcare providers everywhere - AND YES I MEAN YOU MEDICAL ASSISTANT AND RECEPTIONIST, AND EVERYONE ELSE INSIDE A DOCTORS OFFICE OR HOSPITAL OR CLINIC OR ANYWHERE THAT PROVIDES HEALTHCARE STUFF.....

LEARN SOME CUSTOMER SERVICE.

By the way....I am looking for a job. :) I'm happy to be a paid consultant.....

Monday, December 12, 2016

Prozac, Vacations and Jealousy

We don't go on trips, vacations.

We don't go to Disneyland, we don't go to the Polar Express for Christmas, or take any trip for any sort of "fun" that lasts any longer than a day or two.

Well trips to spend a week in and out of a hospital. We disguise it with a few little jaunts to fun things around the city we are in - but the truth is - we are only there to see the doctors in that hospital.

This is our life.

And sometimes I get very jealous. Very jealous.

We put Aria on Prozac - because the intense anxiety and bouts of depression were just too much for an 8 year old to continue to go through. Also we knew that if we continued to allow it to go on it would spiral upwards as she approached her teenage years.

And well, let me be honest here - I decided to put her on it for one reason - because if I didn't - the person who would die in this house was not Alex, or Aria - it was me.

I couldn't work 30 hours a week, be a full time student, manage a medically complex child's medical care and have a child who would cry at every moment possible. I was having chest pains.

Happily though I can report that the Prozac has done amazing for Aria. She calls it her "emotion pill". She says it let's her not have to feel so much. Her Mommy understands - she feels too much too.

I hop on social media to see family and friends enjoying their Christmastime - and all I can think is "ugh - gotta work another 10 hour day today".

Jealousy. Envy.

I see their children smiling and having fun. I'm happy for them. And honestly, really truly honestly - I'm glad they don't have to live like we do. I would not wish this intense stress and pressure on anyone.

It is the cards I was dealt. That has to be okay. I have to work towards that being okay. It is a daily struggle.

I am still learning. I am still growing. I am still teaching my girls to be humble and resilient and to be content with what they have.

I lean on our Lord. I lean on our Heavenly Father to guide me. I fail daily.

I think what I am trying to say here is - stop comparing yourself. Someone once said comparison is the thief of joy. That person was right. When I constantly compare my life to others around me, I lose all joy I have in my heart.

No this life is not easy. I made my choices and vows and I will honor those vows - because that's what our Heavenly Father wants us to do.

So now besides having a child with Heterotaxy, CHD, Abernethy Malformation, a bad liver, spikes in her ammonia levels, scoilosis, an upcoming major surgery - I have another child with anxiety, PTSD and depression, who at 8 takes 10mg of Prozac a day.

Some people would look at this and think FAILURE.....I look at it and think "Whew buddy, we got some work ahead of us!"

I'm probably not going to live to see 90, I will probably have to have triple bypass by my mid 50s, and start metformin for type 2 diabetes by my mid 40s - but hell - did I live. I lived. We all lived.

HAHA and as I type this a gigantic piece of one of my teeth just cracked off.

But no rest for the wicked - pediatrician appointment at 11 for Aria and 2 o'clock ortho appointment for Alex today.

Better go put my war paint on.

Friday, December 2, 2016

I Don't Fit In

I don't fit in.

I don't believe voting a person - any person - into the oval office will help our country.

I will never vote Democrat. They use indoctrination and scare tactics to get votes. They call people names like "deplorables" if they vote for anyone other than their chosen candidate. They are corrupt - yet claim to be for the people.

No one involved in government is for the people - they are there for themselves.

I don't believe that we can use the government to force tolerance - any kind of government force or indoctrination is fear mongering.

Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior.

I do not fit in inside the health care advocacy world because I am not for bringing the government into further control of the system of medicine because I have talked to people in countries with socialized health care and they know people who have died because there wasn't a physican available to help.

Yet, as the costs of health care rise, I don't see how we can not go towards universal health care.

Look - I love everyone - I do. But the fear will not get us anywhere. Giving into the fear will not get us anywhere.

If I gave into my fear of losing Alexandra - I'd never get out of bed.

I have learned to understand that the course of this life is not going to be pretty. It's going to be ugly and no one - NO HUMAN BEING - is going to save us from that.

It is why I didn't vote Obama either time - because I saw the way people worshipped him like he would save us all. He can't. He is only a man.

World forgive me for voting my conscience. Forgive me for thinking above the trials of this world and understanding that no one, no one can fix what we have done. No one currently existing on this planet can fix this.

I trust in Who holds tomorrow.

Now don't get me wrong - He pisses me off from time to time.

Forgive me for voting with Jesus in my heart. Forgive me for voting third party because she was someone who saw the corruption of the media, our government and the incessant indoctrination of the Democratic party.

Forgive me for knowing with every ounce of my being that the two party system of the United States is broken.

Forgive me for wanting equality for all - be it in pay, or respect but not in the drafting of women into war. Forgive me for thinking there is a difference between equal pay for the same work and going off to war.

Forgive me for thinking that men and women are not equals - but two totally separate entities that TOGETHER make a whole - and that each have their specific qualities that help perpetuate the species.

Note - I didn't say take women's suffrage away, I said there are differences between the sexes. Women cannot be equal to men, nor vice versa. Because women aren't men. It's like comparing apples to oranges. I also never said anything like "being Gay or Trans is a sin". That's your business not mine. I just said government has no reason to be involved in any of your personal life.

Why can't we all just be? Why can't we all just love each other and not want to have this or that or keep up with the Joneses...

Because the people who really control our government have indoctrinated you to be involved in the mass consumerism of greed.

Stop and see. The Democratic party wants inclusion yet puts labels on everything and everyone because they think its the "politically correct" thing to do. They're not in this for you.

Now the GOP isn't much better - they infringe on rights and force their own agenda. Why? Cause they are the same as the Dems....just on the other side of the aisle.

In closing - I want all of you to know I love you. I want you to be happy. I want you not to be afraid. I want you to be strong and resolute and know that there is an entity who loves you no matter what. He made you.

I know there are a few of us more "conservative" types who just feel horrendous about things and extraordinarily excluded because we refused to vote for the Democratic nominee.

And maybe I'm ignorant cause I've never been raped, sexually harassed, hit by a man, felt inequality in the workforce - and maybe you all think my white privilege is showing.

But when I see that I have no money to buy my children clothes, yet I work hard, go to college, my Husband works, yet we make less than $40K a year, I don't see any privilege. Yet, I cannot get goverment assistance. Now if I divorced my Husband and was a single Mother I could. Are we rewarding this behavior? Are we saying "have babies - your government will pay for them - do not rely on a man."? I don't know.

All I do know is I work hard. Very hard. I do not trust my government to do anything for me. Because they reward irresponsible behavior.

I'm going to get off my soap box now.