31 Oct Patient Experience: A Big Slice Of Humble Pie
While at work today I happen to have the chance to sit with two members of the leadership I report into (I live in a complex matrix) and gave them an update on my father.
I have to say they have all be very understanding, accommodating, and willing to give me the time I need to spend with my father and mother. It has been wonderful to be there with my father for his appointments, help to guide and coordinate his care, and to arrange my workload to be able to still manage everything. Work of course is an outlet and a way for me to keep my mind occupied and my emotions in check.
In one of the discussions, my leader asked me for permission to ask a deeper question. I told him by all means, ask away, I am an open book about it.
Leader, “Can I ask what has been the most difficult thing for you to deal with in all of this? Was it the diagnosis, the prognosis, the amount of time? What has been the biggest challenge for you?”
I smiled, took a deep breath, and replied, “You want the blunt honest truth?”
I continue, “To know that I can impact 100’s of thousands people with cancer, but when it really counts, when it is my own father, there isn’t a damn thing I can do. It’s a reality check that I am NOT such a big deal.”
He looked at me, smiled, and responded that he had a similar experience, with different circumstances, but that he can definitely relate. He told me that he understood.
In some manner, the fact that he could relate to me did make me feel better.
After stopping and seeing my mother and father, laughing, and having them both demonstrate in their actions that things are better than they have been in the past month, it made me think back on the previous conversation.
I awoke the following morning, today, day 37, and saw a nice article on twitter in regards to leadership. The essence of the article is that strategy is not about being the best, but it is about being unique. (article is here, courtesy of Gia Sison)
Later on in the day I happened to be fortunate enough to have a conversation with two other business leaders. Both commented on my unique perspective, views, and ability to look at healthcare in a manner that provides a different value.
Then it all fell into place. The revelation. That “ah-ha” moment. The lightbulb illuminating.
It has never been about measuring the “scale” and wanting to be “known” in this world. My intention has always been to make an impact on patients and families, healthcare professionals and organizations, vendors and payers, and that the impact is so compelling that it causes a positive change or movement, and that it cascades to others.
I want the change to be felt. I want the impact to resonate. I want the message to be amplified. I want to help one problem at a time, & share it so others can leverage the work for their own use.
My uniqueness is that I listened.
I listened to my father, to his wishes, to his desires, and I made sure to give him all the information to see all sides of the equation, make it easy and simple for him to understand, and ultimately, to give him the opportunity to choose.
I didn’t tell, direct, or try and solve a problem that wasn’t mine to solve.
I did the one thing I do best. I listened. Once I knew what the message was, I defined his problem, sought out the information and tools that he needed, and did some “geekingcare” to accelerate all of it on my fathers timeline.
I didn’t wait for the system. I didn’t take no, or wait, or tomorrow as an acceptable answer.
I simply listened. Acted. Provided. Supported.
By listening to my father and the signs, that piece of humble pie tastes really good to me today.
I hope to find another large piece of humble pie for tomorrow.
As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM