Improving the Patient & Family Experience by Holding Doors

Improving the Patient and Family Experience by Holding Doors

“We hold doors”.

I recently heard this statement during an open house that my son and I attended. As we sat through the opening remarks and learned about the culture and expectations of the school, I thought about how bold and powerful this statement was. I wondered if this was just an attractive slogan or if it really had meaning and clout. And more importantly, how would I, or my son make that determination?

At the end of the formal presentation, the President once again stated at their school, they pride themselves on ‘holding doors”. The audience was then escorted by students for a campus tour. Not surprisingly, the students ‘held the doors’ as we walked through the buildings. The more I saw the students hold the doors for visitors, the more it resonated with me that holding doors wasn’t just about holding the door per se. Holding doors, at this school, signified pride. It denoted dignity and respect which are all the core tenets that the school spoke of that morning.


Holding Doors Creates Engagement

So, how did the words translate into actions? It wasn’t just by the simple act of holding a door, it was more about the students actively engaging and welcoming the visitors. When I asked my son, midway through the tour his thoughts about the school, he shared it was a ‘very cool experience’. When nudged for more insight on this, my son explained that he got the feeling that the students and faculty were authentic in welcoming him and wanted to see him succeed.

Since first impressions mean a lot, I probed him if it was the door holding in the beginning that welcomed him. My son shared it was more than just the door holding, it was the confidence and pride that the students had while holding the door was why the school impressed him.


Holding Doors to Improve the Patient Experience

You may be thinking, “How does this align with improving the improving the patient and family experience?” Well, does your organization hold doors? And by that question, I do not imply that you need greeters at the door. 

I am asking:

Does your organization provide a platform where your staff feels pride and confidence in all they do and in a way that can be seen and felt by others? Click To Tweet

For example, if your mission statement includes verbiage such as helping or servicing others, how does that translate into day to day operations.

In other words, if visitors need help navigating the hospital, are staff encouraged to walk patients and families to where they need to go (and talk with them during the walk). Do they walk the mission’s talk?

In order to improve patient and family experiences, we need to ‘hold doors’ with empathy, compassion, dignity, and respect for our patient and families and for each other.

Does your organization ‘hold doors’? I can help you lead your organization to have better patient experiences. Find out more here.


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