Friday, July 27, 2007

Keep those cards & letters coming!

In his book In Search of Excellence, Tom Peters describes project champions with phrases like "fired-up," "fanatic," and "zealot." I can relate to that. (He also uses "irrational" and "obnoxious." Ditto.) But even though I am still fired-up about Advanced Access, it's tough to keep up the enthusiasm when the project seems stuck in the summer doldrums. That's why it's such a great boost to read all the encouraging comments that you've sent.

But don't just send your comments to pep me up. Perhaps you'll read some feedback from someone in your own community. Get in touch with them! Build your own quality improvement network. You don't need to bite off a big project like this one; try something small. And then let us all know about it.

I’m most grateful, however, for the people who've given us license to make mistakes. Cathy Fooks wrote: "Not to say you must always deliver it." Sheri M wrote: "...we don't expect ourselves to be perfect!" Imagine how much we would achieve if we built a culture where well-intentioned failure is valued more than ineffective inertia. Thanks again.

Friday, July 13, 2007


“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

I'm veering off the access topic this week because my last two posts have me thinking more about the broader idea of patient-centred care/patient experience…

You guys like improv comedy? You know, where performers make up impromptu scenes, often based on suggestions from the audience. Here's an idea on using an improv game to help focus on patient-centred care.

In the "Switch" game, two performers are creating a scene when the moderator calls "Switch." The last speaker then repeats his line, with a word changed, or gives a completely new line. This changes the context of the scene and may take it in a completely different direction. Hopefully a funny direction. (Go to YouTube and search "Improv game switch" to check out some samples.)

Improv performers want to make their audience laugh; we want our patients to have a Great! experience. Here's how I've been playing with this game at work:

Friday, July 6, 2007

Crossed Lines

An elderly lady was in to see me two weeks ago.  She was given a backlog appointment, so I had seen her within 10 days of receiving the referral.

"How did you like our appointment system?"  I admit that I was (partly) fishing for a compliment.

"I didn't like it very much at all!"  Uh-oh. Snagged line.  "Your secretary phoned me with the appointment.  Why couldn't you just send a letter?"