Entertainment venues know what the term “show-ready” means. It means everything is in place and ready for customers, guests, visitors, etc. to arrive and enjoy an entertaining experience.

We used the term show-ready all the time at Disney. In fact, the theme parks would not (could not!) open until all areas reported in that they were all show ready and prepared for that day’s guests.

They say, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression. ”

If this is true, then why don’t we make the right first impression every day in healthcare? The number one response we get from your employees is, “we don’t have time.”

Everyone knows patients are scared. Many are off their game because they didn’t plan for this event. And they’re worried about how they’re going to be able to pay for this.

show-readySo everything they experience, see, smell or hear has the potential to add more anxiety or remove more anxiety.

Everything they experience either builds more trust or erodes that trust.

If the goal in healthcare is to build trust between providers and patients, here are 3 things you can do right away to begin creating peace of mind for your patients and to make yourself and your organization “show-ready” every day:

1. Pick Up Trash in the Parking Lot. When you park your car in the hospital lot, challenge yourself to pick up some trash on your way in. It might seem insignificant, but if you see it so will your customers and patients. What impression does that give them?

2. Check Your Name Tag.  Once you’ve checked in and put your personal belongings away, challenge yourself to make sure your name tag is right-side up and worn over your heart (we heal from the heart).

3. Flush. Maybe not literally, but think about your public restrooms. They’re often the first thing patients or their families see. Are they clean? Well-stocked? Or do they need attention from your housekeeping or environmental services team? Make a phone call if necessary, but if possible, pick up and tidy up what you can so patients get a good first impression. 

These little things take just a minute but through the eyes of the patient, they are priceless. And they’ll go a long way toward creating peace of mind in your patients.