The Extra Minutes
The TLC difference of Teaching, Learning, and Caring comes from the extra minutes.
We know who our patients are. We listen and learn from our patients as well as teach and empower them to be partners in their healthcare rather than passive recipients. We see everything happening with the patients not just the thing they complained about, and this is why we have better management of chronic illnesses and better prevention of complications.
Our staff has time to eat and go to the bathroom and our needle-stick injury rate is extremely low for the number of injections we do. Our staff isn't distracted. The HPH nurses are literally on strike right now and one of their biggest demands is meal breaks in every unit, every shift every day every nurse. HPH's response is one I don't think the nurses or patients care about, which is they are continuously talking about how nurse salaries at HPH are in the 90th percentile in the State. One wonders what systemic forces are leading them to try to throw a little money at the problem instead of trying to make real systemic change which would help patients and staff.
We have time to Talk, Laugh, and Cry with our patients. That makes measurable healthcare differences. We help our patients get on heath insurance plans that are right for them, sometimes against our own self-interest. We help patients do their legal paperwork. None of this is possible without the Trust, Love, and Comprehension which comes from the extra minutes.
Because our appointments are not so tightly scheduled patients actually wait less. Yes, we want to improve our waiting room times, but overall, they wait less in the waiting room, and crucially, one they are in the exam room there is no waiting. They are not passed from person to person. They are not unnecessarily asked to disrobe.
We respect patients Time, Language, and Character by providing telehealth and managing our waiting room when a provider is running behind. We use the living name and pronoun.
We don't aim for basic healthcare, but our goal is for patients to Thrive, Live, and Come as they are happiest. That's the difference of the extra minutes.