Who was it that said that hospital managers should always respond to questions, comments and other concerns or inquiries openly with a smile and an accepting manner? Something about low-tech, maybe? Something about scarves? …I wish I could remember. Anyway, Stanford has this thing–this way they teach their staff to communicate with patients, families and other staff members. They call it C-I-CARE, and its process is solely proprietary to Stanford Hospital & Clinics. Amir Dan Rubin brought the concept with him when he came to Stanford and it appears that it’s something that he swears by. Anyway, what C-I-CARE does is make the customer–the patient, the visitor, the family–the focal point of communications. When presented with an issue, the employee connects with the patient, introduces himself/herself and his/her role, communicates what he/she will do to address the issue, asks questions and anticipates needs, responds in a timely manner, and exits courteously while consideration needs and concerns. All Stanford employees are empowered to communicate like this–it isn’t just senior management. C-I-CARE is pervasive. It spreads throughout all hospital-patient communications, including the communications of billers and housekeeping. This concerted effort by all Stanford employees creates consistent, positive interactions between hospital staff and patients, providing a level of openness and transparency in hospital interactions, and making the patient feel at home and secure in the patient care setting. C-I-CARE is a wonderful approach to interpersonal intra-hospital communications. …I just wish I could remember where I heard that before.
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