Hi everyone!

We are back and are so excited to have our CEO, Darla King, share her thoughts about Paul Spiegelman and Britt Berrett’s book Patients Come SecondLeading Change by Changing the Way You Lead. Make sure to order your copy or place a hold at your local library!


We all know the title “Patients Come Second” is a bit disturbing to hear and goes against all commonsense practices we have heard for years in the health care field.  It certainly got my attention!  Once you have a chance or interest to read the whole book, by the way it is a great airplane trip book by the way, you will understand the rest of the story.  It does make sense, we are all focused on the patient.

Key take-aways

  • “Leading Change by Changing the Way YOU Lead.”
  • “Fun Matters”
  • “CIQ Score” – what is your Culture IQ Score?

The constant health care theme we hear is to “deliver an exceptional experience for the Patient”.

Recently, I have had a personal experience at bedside with my Mother in and out of the hospital, then rehabilitation centers and then assisted living locations.  The two years really gave me an appreciation for the healthcare professionals and what they deal with daily.  They are saints for the work they do and the way some patients treat them with such disrespect.   This was my first time to really spend this much time in a hospital setting.  Most patients are in and out of the facility in a short-time for procedures or illness.  Understanding the work routine of the nurses and aides was an eye opener.  The sheer number of patients they care for, the knowledge they have for the medicines, the personal feelings they share and yet the verbal abuse they tolerate is just amazing to me.   The healthcare professional must always be nice, caring and understanding of the patient’s feelings and that must be draining for them to endure every day.   There were several wonderful nurses that made our stay welcoming and pleasant for my Mom and our family.  Give…give and keep on giving despite the patient’s unruly behavior at times.  Being the first time, I had ever experienced the personal care in a facility, it gave me a totally new perspective on the Patient comes first…What really does come first?

Who takes care of the employee?

They have a job that requires them to always be at their best when some of the patients or family don’t give that respect back as they should.  Treat others the way we want to be treated…right?  Unlike any other career path – healthcare jobs are dealing with patients – whether they are ill, scared for their lives or perhaps even dying – it is a mental drain and they don’t always act as they would normally.  It is not like any other business.

There is a reference to a coffee shop where we all love to get our morning java and the difference a person who greets you can make it a wonderful experience – with a smile, eye contact and a thank you!   Or serve the customers in a bad mood, delivering an incorrect order and little care for the idea of perhaps losing a customer.   Engaged employees make the difference in any company and we as consumers can tell from the way we are treated.

They say the medical staff is like any other employee in a traditional business – or are they?

It makes you wonder why some jobs like nursing have early burnout?  The book really discusses the common issues healthcare employees work around and adjust to as they grow in their career.

Like so many companies they are all about growth – in business it is add another location, buy a building or add more staff to support the workload.  If you aren’t growing, you are not going to succeed…right?

In healthcare, growth is adding beds, developing electronic record keeping or refreshing the common spaces – but neglecting the most obvious and that is investing in their staff.  How to take care of their employees by creating a happy work place.  Asking about their work environment and adjusting to their requests.

More next time … Darla King