Striving for Excellence “What We Do and the People We Touch”

by Dr. Rick Goodman on May 20, 2009

As healthcare providers few people understand what we do and the people whose lives we touch including ourselves. If we are striving for excellence as providers our own personal issues become less important and something magical suddenly happens. We find out that we have the ability to change someone’s life and touch them if for only a brief period of time. This is what separates us from all humanity.

We provide the link between the system and our patient’s lives, however first let me explain to you my definition of a healthcare provider. A healthcare provider is any individual or groups of individuals that contribute to the health and welfare of those we come in contact with. To be more concise, it includes everyone from the doctors to the volunteers in a facility. Whether the facility is a hospital, surgical center or private practice we provide the link between the system and our patient’s lives.

Today we face the challenge of keeping up with changes brought on by legislation, the swell of patients that need our services that are uninsured or underinsured, and staffs that are working longer hours than ever before juggling multiple responsibilities. Our patients are demanding more of us than ever before which is what they deserve, after all we provide the link. I guess the question that is posed to me most often is “How can we balance our lives while contributing to the lives of our patients and still maintain balance in our own lives?

I believe in order to strive for excellence and achieve personal balance the rules for ourselves and our patients should be simple. After all there are certain needs that are common to all of the patients that I have observed regardless of the setting. They all want Love, Appreciation and Respect.  They need this like the food they eat, the air they breathe and the water that they drink. If we as providers can fulfill these common desires we will receive benefits that far outweigh the service that we provide.

It has been my experience that patients truly appreciate the administrators that help them with their insurance issues. They are also eternally grateful to the doctor who performs masterfully under all circumstances. A kind word from the front desk receptionist who is juggling multiple responsibilities can also have a positive effect on the outcome of a patient. Maybe if just for just one moment we looked at life from our patient’s point of view we would really appreciate our own work and its positive effect on the people we touch.

There is another triad of excellence that contributes to our personal balance and to our patients overall experience as we strive for excellence. I’m referring to the cornerstone of success. Faith, Forgiveness and Gratitude. Everyday as providers of healthcare we must have faith in our doctors, their staffs, and the system we function in. Ultimately the responsibility is on us as healthcare providers to make the best decisions possible for our patients.

Inevitably as human beings living on planet earth we are going to make mistakes. The most important lesson we need to learn is that people make mistakes people are not the mistake. So when it happens and it will, don’t beat yourself up. Forgive yourself so that you can make better decisions next time. Providers who recognize this concept are able to move on and contribute to their patient’s health in a more positive manner with better outcomes.

Lastly as healthcare providers we need to practice Gratitude. We should be grateful that we have chosen a profession that gives us the opportunity to touch people’s lives on a regular basis and contribute to enhancing the lives of those around us.

Those who are looking to strive for excellence and add balance to your lives, look no further. The answer is within.

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Dr. Rick GoodmanStriving for Excellence “What We Do and the People We Touch”