“Is this begging for parody or what?” I thought. Massachusetts General Hospital paid its employees $250 each to watch a video reminding them to be nice to patients?!
That was my first reaction upon reading this scrupulously deadpan Boston Globe story headlined “Mass. General employees watch customer service video — for $250.” It carefully notes that the $250 incentive brought complaints from some competitors at a time of tight health care dollars, but also that such pay is “an approach common in other industries and that proved to be an overwhelming success for the hospital.”
(Dear Boston Globe: At times like this, I can’t help hoping that you’ll be bought by The Onion or The Daily Show. Can’t you have even a little fun with news that makes people go “Huh?”)
So how could one best bowdlerize the earnest, mission-driven video above featuring Mass. General chief Dr. Peter Slavin? One idea: You could provide translations to plainer speech. For example:
Slavin: “It’s also important that we speak well of each other and of other departments when interacting with patients and their loved ones, to help them feel assured of our teamwork in caring for them.”
Translation: When your colleagues are jerks, do not scare patients by telling them about it.
Slavin: “There is no doubt that even long-time patients and their families can often be nervous and uncomfortable when coming to the hospital or visiting their doctor or other clinician. How we first greet them often sets the tone for a successful positive admission or visit.”
Translation: Most people walking into our halls are scared out of their wits. Have a heart.
Readers, other translations welcome. But in truth, I come away from watching the 11-minute video with the sense that though it was meant for the hospital’s 22,000 staffers, it is an excellent tutorial for every one of us as potential patients. Continue reading