The Human Experience – Lessons from the ICU bedside

My vantage point on customer service and customer experience have certainly grown in the past 5 years. Much of that growth comes in the form of empathy gained from encountering complex healthcare delivery. In the past series of days, for example, I have run the all too familiar gauntlet of being with a close family member for 10 hours in an emergency room followed by a transfer to a coronary ICU unit. Along the journey we have endured less than pleasant moments including disputes between insurance providers and health systems that require transport from one facility to the next, variable levels of kindness from nursing professionals, and a sea of specialists who often view the world from such a sophisticated perspective which makes it difficult for them to coordinate efforts.

All that said, I continue to be impressed by the small yet substantial differences individuals do make. The respectful entrance into a patient room made by a phlebotomist, an extra gentle touch of the shoulder by a dietary staff member, a nurse who shares his or her smile – all serve to tame what can otherwise be a hostile and mechanical world of human care delivery.

There is much wrong about complex healthcare today but there is also much right about the power each of us has to humanize our provision of service experiences. What will you do differently today to not only deliver service but to enhance the human experience?

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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