May 12-18, 2019 is National Hospital Week. It celebrates hope and healing, hospitals, health systems, and the men and women who support the health and well-being of their communities through dedication and care from the heart. So, we think it’s the perfect time to honor the many, many employees who make hospitals work at the 6,201 hospitals in the U.S. today.
Ask anyone who is employed by a hospital and they’ll tell you stories that are entertaining, bizarre, comical, and often very inspiring. One medical scribe recently wrote about her view of the emergency room: “Emergency medicine attracts people that have the bravery, fortitude, and compassion to endure extraordinary successes followed by extraordinary heart breaks daily.”
Emergency Medicine doctor Nina Hu shares what goes through her mind when listening to parents of sick children in the ER “To us, ‘my baby has a fever’ isn’t always an emergency, but to this new mom it very much is. I try to pause and consider every individual and get to the bottom of their worries,” Regardless of how many hours she has worked, or traumas she has witnesses in a shift, she remembers to treat each patient with the care and attention they deserve.
Beyond the ER, there are countless healthcare professionals who work to ensure the hospital works seamlessly for each of us. They are doctors of all specialties, nurses, and therapists, and some of the unsung heroes are the janitorial staff, clerical staff, information technology staff, food services staff, pharmacy staff, and technicians – including radiology, surgical, pharmacy and patient care technicians (PCTs). There is a treasure trove of people who spend time with patients like you and me who give up their sleep, lunch breaks, time with their own family and more to make sure their patients are comfortable and well taken care of. Clinicians and healthcare staff work tirelessly to care for us in an increasingly complex and stressful environment.
Hospitals are often the economic drivers of communities – especially those in rural areas. Hospitals used to run on a fee-for-service model, which meant they could see the same patient time and time again. However, that model is transitioning to one where hospitals are rewarded for safety and efficiency. That often results in patients spending less time in a hospital. Livingston Regional Hospital, for instance, has cut readmissions more than any other rural hospital in Tennessee and even the nation. Livingston’s parent company, LifePoint Health, is launching a community approach to patient care. By collaborating (rather than competing) with home health systems, their patients are getting the care they need without multiple visits to the hospital. Helping these patients get good care at home is helping them survive.
In fact, many of our country’s best hospitals continue to outperform in numerous areas, including patient safety and patient survival rates. Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, and Johns Hopkins hospitals made the top three Honor Roll for this year’s U.S. News Best Hospitals Rankings and Ratings.
So, if you’re a physician recruiter, take a minute this week to thank the doctors you know who work every day at the “intersection of science and humanity.”
If you work at a hospital, take a minute this week to thank your colleagues. Their work contributes to your work and vice versa.
If you’re a patient or you’re simply visiting a patient, thank all of the people who have helped. Like anyone, healthcare workers want to know that what they do makes a difference.
To all of you who work at hospitals: thank you for your resilience, hard work, and dedication.
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