By George Bischalaney, President & CEO
Among my mail is an envelope addressed to the CEO and marked “confidential.” It is handwritten, obviously not from a business partner or one who hopes to be. Someone has taken the time to write and make sure it gets read by me and not screened or redirected. It has my attention.
As I expected, it is a letter from an individual who wants to tell me about the care delivered to a family member. As I begin to read, there is a moment of apprehension. Will this be the grateful letter that praises the care of doctors, nurses and other staff members encountered during the stay? Or is this the letter that expresses concerns and expectations not met? Actually, I look forward to either. An individual in a position to assess our performance has taken the time to tell me about it.
I receive letters several times a week, and they are often the most instructive of a given day’s activity. Patients and their families have much to teach us about what we do and how we do it.
I am still surprised at how often it is the little things that make a difference. We put so much effort into providing the highest quality of care and avoiding mistakes that we often overlook the obvious. Those entrusted to our care need the human touch. A moment of compassion, a word of support, encouragement or just someone to listen can provide a sense of healing equal to many more clinical interactions in a patient’s mind. Letters rarely praise the well-placed IV or express gratitude for the timely administration of medication. What many patients remember are the kind words of the nurse, the cheerfulness of the dietary worker delivering the meal, or the respectful nature of the person who comes to clean the room.
There is much that we can do to improve the health care system in our country. Even as the debate continues, there is much that is working well – and it hasn’t been legislated. It is the commitment of countless individuals to go about their work with an understanding of the impact they can and do have on the people they care for. It is remembering the little things that help a patient through the day or a family member find relief in knowing that the caregivers are more than clinicians completing rounds and performing tasks. We create moments every day that will be remembered forever.
As I open the next letter, regardless of the message, I know it will help me remain connected to our purpose and be a reminder of what health care really needs.
By George Bischalaney, President & CEO, Eden Medical Center
The Next Generation Hospital. The new Sutter Medical Center, Castro Valley.
Hello, and welcome to our new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley blog. As CEO, I want to introduce our new blog site and invite you to participate in conversations with us as about the new hospital and medical office building that will replace Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley. I’m very excited to be able to share information and engage with you as we create a state-of-the-art medical complex from design, through the regulatory approval process and finally through each phase of construction, up to the opening in early 2013. It is a long, exciting journey and I look forward to taking you along.
It is clear to us that we need to hear from you, our extended community—patients, neighbors, employees, physicians and business partners—in order to help us meet our goals. We know that many of you who are reading this blog will have strong opinions you would like to share with us. We too feel that communication should not be only one-way. We believe that all of us are more effective when we work together and collaborate to solve problems, address questions openly and discuss issues of importance to the entire community. After all, this is your community hospital and medical center, and we are here to serve your health needs as well as we possibly can. This is our primary goal.
To fulfill that mission and our pledge to include the community in building a medical center that will serve everyone’s needs, we have launched a Social Media outreach program using the Web to not only keep you informed, but to give you a chance to interact with us so we can address your questions and concerns. Our blog will serve as your Internet “headquarters,” where you can find updated information and links to our main Eden Medical Center web site, plus links to other popular online social networks where we have started groups and online communities for further discussion about the new medical center.
Through a variety of social media tools, including our blog, Internet video clips, podcasts, popular social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, FriendFeed and others, you will get regular updates on our progress, plus you’ll have the opportunity to comment back, ask questions, and give us your opinions and perspectives. You’ll be able to converse with hospital administrators, the architects, our Social Media project team, clinical staff and other key people from Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley. We’ll feature posts from guest bloggers, as well as podcast and Web video interviews.
By the way, we did a survey about the community’s use of social media and social networks, but if you did not know about it before, your input is still very valuable to us. You can still take the short, fun Social Media Survey.
We would love to know if you are aware of other social or online neighborhood networks that we may not have covered, such as a Yahoo, Google, AOL or Ning groups. If so, please let us know. We would be glad to participate on already existing online neighborhood, business or other networks to provide information and discuss relevant matters with your communities.
To date, much of the work in bringing our vision to reality has been behind the scenes. Our design team has worked closely with physicians, employees and medical center trustees to help envision our future campus. In the very near future, we will have more detailed exterior images that highlight the buildings and the campus changes. Much of this is still subject to refinement to meet local and State approvals.
We invite you to subscribe to our blog by email or RSS feed…please note the box above, where you can enter your email address, or you can click on the orange RSS symbol above it to subscribe in an online reader (such as Google Reader). Your email address will remain private and will not be shared with other organizations for commercial purposes. If you subscribe, you’ll be alerted by email or in your reader whenever there is a new post to read on our blog.
If you want more information about Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley, you can find basic information on our About page.
For healthcare information, please visit our main web site.
Thank you for visiting, and please feel free to leave a comment or question in the space below. We’ll be glad to respond within a day or two.
President & CEO
Eden Medical Center