Why Every Week Should be Patient Recognition Week

Patients are (and should be) the basis for everything we do in healthcare. But in some ways, that wasn’t always so.

Twenty-five years ago, John O’Malley created Patient Recognition Week—which falls in this first week in February. Healthcare worker O’Malley felt it was important to recognize the many patients that healthcare workers cared for. His goal was to ensure that patients were recognized as the single most important aspect of healthcare.

Fast forward to 2020 and there is no doubt that patients/customers are the starting point for all that happens in healthcare. Yes, patient experience is part of the Triple Aim, but it goes well beyond that.

I’ve written before about the importance of patient experience and why thoughtful organizations actively manage steps within their control to ensure a positive patient experience. A single delivery delay, mishandled specimen or missed delivery is a costly misstep—not only in terms of actual dollars—but, ultimately, because of the negative impact such events can have on patient experience. In today’s consumer culture where you review everyone from your Lyft driver to your waiter, successful healthcare organizations are the ones that focus on their patients.

As we celebrate Patient Recognition Week, let’s all lean in on what we can do to find new ways to make their experience even better.

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