Friday, July 11, 2014

Hospitals could learn from Portos restaurant

Portos was the hot place to meet and eat in Burbank before I left CA.  And it was the place my daughter and my friend Pat wanted to go when in town.

It was the most crowded place I'd ever eaten  But somehow, even if I wanted just to drink my coffee and wait for the rest of my party, I knew I would get a seat.

The incredible coordinators of this "no person eats standing up" policy went quietly through the crowd, noticing everything.  Every move, every order, every choice, every need. They moved table numbers to suit various size parties.  The customers were happy and were eating, not waiting.   One day I happened to notice the coordinators had a little plastic spiral leading to one ear - al la The Secret Service.

Now go with me to spine rehab, where staff calling to each other up and down the hall was the noisy norm.  What would it have been like with those little plastic spirals coming out of their scrubs, answering questions, directing them to this thirsty patient, this dropped call button.  A "no patient goes un-served policy" in quiet action.

I believe it was Dr. Harlan Krumholz who said we send patients home dehydrated and sleep deprived.  Is one solution to readmission just a little white plastic spiral?

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