Medical Memory is honored to sponsor Take 1: Patient.
A Communication Excellence Podcast.
View a previously recorded podcast below!
Retired Army Vet, and Director of Patient Experience
A leader in Patient Experience, Hospital Excellence. Germaine, a retired Army vet discusses the essential things she’s learned about patient communication and simple things ANY nurse leader or doctor can implement today.
Her Experience Includes:
*Director of Patient Experience, Interpreter Services, and Volunteer Services at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, St. Joseph’s Westgate Medical Center, Barrow Neurological Institute, Norton Thoracic Institute and University of Arizona Cancer Center, September
*Director of Service Excellence
Banner Baywood Medical Center and Banner Heart Hospital
*Director of Service Excellence
Olympia Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA,
*Director of Service Excellence, Public Relations and Volunteer Services
Paradise Valley Hospital
*Activities and Honors
Appointed Mercy Heritage Affiliate through the Sisters of Mercy program at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Community fundraising leadership in Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, American Diabetes Association, Susan
G. Komen, United Way, Better Together, and American Cancer Society.
U.S. Army Surgical Technician. Recipient of Army awards: Desert Storm/Shield service ribbon, good conduct medal, three army achievement medals, overseas service ribbon.
*Certified as a Banner system educator through the Leaders as Teachers program.
Transcription of Podcast
All right, so Hi, I’m Julie Yorumez with an take one patient podcast. And I am very excited that we’re going to be talking today with Jermaine McCauley. She is the director of patient experience she’s been in patient experience for a really, really long time. And she works with a lot of hospitals to increase the the the ratings in order to make their hospitals show that they’re really abiding by patient communication, and abiding by patient experience and all of those things. So this episode uptake with patient is Jermaine McCauley, let’s start. So Shane, tell me a little bit about your role in a hospital as a patient experience officer. What What does that entail, and why is it important?
So my role in a hospital is to help drive strategic initiatives around the patient experience. And several of those initiatives have to do with evidence based practices. Much of it has to do with culture, a lot of it has to do with physician and employee engagement. And in the end, hopefully, by providing exceptional patient care, we then achieve really great h cap scores are lagging indicator to evidence of the care we’ve provided. So those with those h cap scores there is in the end, and those are attached to value based purchasing, and with IBM purchasing their dollars attach there. So our goal is to really change culture, we work with the strategic it with the strategic team to drive change.
So communication really plays into a patient experience. As far as the way that a patient is even just being talked to in that respect.
Communication, whether it’s as a leader or as an employee, doesn’t matter. Communication is the core of life, right? It’s the core of every single relationship we have. And that is no different in a hospital, where emotions run high. This is your only mother, this is your only sister. And communication is everything. So, you know, we can’t always control outcome for patients, we can’t always control their disease process. What we can control is how we communicate about those things. Communication is absolutely everything, from the doctor, to the patient, from the nurse to the patient, from each of the support or service technicians to the patient. Communication helps to alleviate anxiety, the more you tell me, as an informed person, a person who wants to know what’s happening to me, you know, I’ve lost control as a patient of everything in my life, I’ve lost control of the clothes I wear, I’ve lost control of the food I eat, when I’m a hospitalized patient, I’ve lost control of who gets to come in and out of my room, I’ve lost control of my ability to move around freely, the only thing I have control of is information and communication. So communication is everything.
That’s so interesting that you say that because I guess I never really thought of it in that way that the lack of control of Okay, all of a sudden I don’t know who’s coming in and out I don’t have any say for my schedule, how the day is gonna look, all of those things. So outside of being overly, you know, not overly probably respectively, emotional about the situation for yourself is where it was, maybe some of your caring for that lack of control is is a really hard space for a lot of patients to be in, you know, too
huge. And for family members. Think about it. As a family member, you’ve really lost control, right? You may not even be able to in the times of this pandemic, be able to visit your family member. So again, communication is key. How do I know what’s happening to mom? How do I know what you’re doing today? How do I know mom’s Okay, how do I know who’s taking care of mom today? Those are all things again, the lack of communication leads to greater anxiety and suffering and that’s what we do in healthcare as we try to alleviate suffering and lack of communication and suffering. So when
you are seeing you know providers you know, obviously if there’s a not great experience it does impact the patient it does actually impact the finances of the hospital and that’s why these things are measured. So for paid for providers that you see are like excellent communicators consistently. You know, scoring the highest on patient experience scores? What do they do differently than those that are scoring lower? with patient spirits? What do they do differently in the way they communicate to patients and families.
providers who score higher in my 35 years of being in service excellence in patient experience, I can tell you, those providers who consistently score higher tend to consistently do certain practices. And one of those practices is they sit at the bedside as much as they can. Sometimes you have large groups, right? So you may have a neurosurgeon and, and several residents, if you’re a teaching hospital, just that sort of thing. But sitting at the bedside key, looking at patient in the eye, however, that happens, placing a hand on the patient’s arm as you’re speaking, and then asking, tell me what questions you have. That’s huge, as opposed to a hand on the door saying, Do you have any questions? Yeah, really, really wanting to understand, tell me what questions you have. Or tell me what you understand about the plan of care. I’ve explained to you, because that’s truly caring? Do we really know the patient understood what was said? So we see the, the the physicians who get greater scores are ones who really want to know, did the patient understand what I just said, as opposed to wanting, you know, needing to get on to the next patient? Would you have any questions? And getting out of the room? It’s those physicians who are invested in their patients understanding what’s happened to them?
Well, I think you just hit really to two important things. The first one is all about nonverbals, which is actually when you’re thinking, Okay, the act of sitting versus standing, and the act of just pure icontact. The act of like reaching out and touching someone, it literally doesn’t then matter why man matters, but like, sounds like what comes out of the mouth, or the way that they present something or the way they say something matters less than just simply the act of like, sitting down for a second, and like reaching a hand out, which is three, four seconds to kind of like, make sure that you’re in the good physical space, before you’re even communicating. And that’s really interesting. You know, they did Moravian and I’m sure you know, Dr. Moravia, and he did all these studies about communication and that verbals were seven or not 9%, and nonverbals, like tone, and body language has such a bigger impact in the way that someone was being received. So that’s interesting that usually you say, Oh, they say this, or they say that they just sit down,
they sit down, they get it i level that says to the patient, so many nonverbal things. So such a great point, Julie, it says, I’m here to listen to you. It says, We’re even so I’m you’re no longer a subordinate to me, I’m not standing over you. And my Chris clean, you know, lab jacket, with my hair’s perfect, and I smell good. And, you know, I have all of this knowledge about you, the patient already feels a bit inferior in that situation. So to sit at eye level, says, I’m here to look at you, as an equal to me. And I’m going to listen to you and I’m going to explain things to you. And patients perceive there’s many, many studies out there. You can you can research, but there are studies out there that show patients perceive that a physician stayed longer when they sit versus stand.
Right. Wow. And you think that it’s like, half a second to sit down. And, as you said, it’s We are a team, we are we are on this together, we’re looking at this together. And it is I can see especially when you’re saying what you said before, is it gives the perception of I have nowhere to be like I like even though he does or she does, you know and that but just that I have this extra time to sit and thinking about that. How long does it take us about half a second, you know, just to have that.
So I think I’m sorry, if you think of someone who comes over to your house, right? Someone who you value and respect and you really, you know, really want to see them and speak with them if they walked into your house and just stood there. It’s a different perception than if they said Is it okay if I take a seat? Of course, please take a seat. Wow, you’re gonna sit with me? Yeah.
Well, I’m thinking about so I have twin two year olds, and they’re, you know, two year olds, and so they’re right at that age, where they’re trying to communicate. They’re feeling out Control, like very similar, and that’s a lot of the reading I’ve been doing is that down, get on their level. And then because I’m out of control, I don’t know what I want, I know I want something I mean, it’s so it’s so similar. It’s just basic, you know, thought process there. That’s, that’s, that’s interesting. And that’s something I think that’s an easy trip that takes an extra half second, you know, same with eye contact extra half second, just to make sure if you think of nothing else, in that time, just think of those two things, and then allow yourself to just give the information as you do normally.
Absolutely, in that listening to someone’s concerns. You know, it’s, it’s a skill, and not always taught in a nursing school or medical school, but just to really be present in the moment. It’s another thing sitting does is it says, I’m present here with you right? Now, you have my attention. And by being very focused by listening while and saying, I’m going to be back tomorrow, or my resident will be back tomorrow. Do me a favor, write down any questions you have, because we want to be sure to be able to answer your questions when we come. And then you can also really direct the conversation. So you’re not in a room for long periods of time, you can get in there be very strategic, make sure your patient understands what’s happening. That’s really what great doctors do. The other thing I would add just the last piece is these, them. And when I say great doctors, you know, you can be great clinically, you can be great in terms of communication, age, capture quality outcomes, but if you’re a well rounded, all hitting it on all cylinders, right? quality, finance, patient experience, you name it. And then I would say, another thing is, really, your patients have to trust you to trust that your plan of care is the best plan of care for them. Trust that you’re that you are invested or you care about them. One way to do that is sometime in that encounter, connect on that patient care back to an upper level, right? Can I get your warm blanket and I asked her to get your warm blanket? Can I get your warm blanket? You know, is there something you need? Can I turn off your light? You know, would you like me to close your curtain for your privacy, something or who sent you the flowers, or the pretty pictures from when a patient sees that you saw past just clinicals anything attached and their human being is suffering. And that really goes far in create a trusting relationship.
Right. And it kind of goes back into just as you said, is taking a second to listen and taking a second even to have something that’s just not not patient related. Because back I said, getting yours I thought was really profound as like this person has lost all control, they’re only being seen as a patient. A lot of them have, you know, parent or you know, our parents or executives are working. And they’re used to having a lot of that power. And so now they’re like, Oh, I’m just this patient that’s been poked and prodded or whatever. So having even like a second of personal element, 10 seconds, hey, what can I do, I’m still here, you know, to do anything, don’t like embrace the barriers of that doctor patient relationship down just a bit to kind of say, okay, like, as a human first, I’m here before the person that’s educated to take care of you, you know,
the dignity factor and like Maya Angelou says, No, I don’t care how much you know, till I know how much you care. Make it, you know, these things are our in we measure how often doctors treat you with courtesy and respect, may not like the big O. But that is on HQ for a reason. Patients have to have us team relationship in order to follow the plan of care, to trust and to care, to trust in their physician goes a long, long way.
You know, it’s interesting also to with what you said is the things that you’re saying are so simple and basic. Like it’s not simple and basic. It’s actually like very intently, you know, like, thoughtful, but it’s something really easy for someone to implement right away. Like all of a sudden, she’s like, Don’t think of anything else. Just sit down. Don’t think of anything else sit down icontact like those are your two things to do first. And then even like before you leave the room, like did you have anything that like you need? You know, those are three things that don’t take a lot of time. And I think people always be like, Oh, that’s not improved communication, I need to just talk more. And that’s not what you’re saying. You’re saying just do the little tiny pieces. And it will provide a better experience of communication, a better experience, you know, to that patient.
Well, sad and truthfully, if I had a short list, I’ll tell you what if I needed to, if I were working with an organization to improve the patient experience Around physician communication, first thing I would do that absolute shortlist because you can’t give people you know, a whole lot of things to improve. Boop, some simple things like you said, this is a short list. Sit down when you can, can always sit down. Many hospitals have invested in listening stores, to great idea they hang on the wall, don’t take up a lot of space provider can plop one down, even if there are many, like I said, residents and they know everybody in the room, one person sits down. But that’s huge. So one system when you can, can’t always but when you can make a personal connection. Three, explain and ask, What do you understand that I’ve just explained to you, that’s that’s it, you hit those three, you never have to look back at each hop, just wait for those great scores to come in and know that your patients understand their plan of care.
Yeah, no, absolutely. So So one thing that’s starting to become more prevalent and as we know and you know, we work you know, I work with medical memory, that actually is video recording a lot of these encounters and and to hit upon. what you were saying is not only does the patient has the patient lost control with their family members have also lost control. I don’t understand what’s happening. I don’t understand what’s going on. Um, what are your thoughts as far as some of these providers that are now using either a telehealth that’s consistent or a lot of these hospitals are now starting to record these interactions that we just talked about sitting on the bed reaching out? How much do you understand let’s have a conversation? Why do these doctors and practices are recording these that the family members get those updates and the patients can react us those? Um, but one thing is how do you think that differs the way that they should think about now that all of a sudden, like, take one like it’s being recorded these these interactions are being recorded.
So you know, it was really interesting. With this pandemic, how we suddenly became a virtual world, right? meetings became virtual patient visits. Many hospitalists at my hospital were visiting patients virtually, there were COVID positive, there were just, you know, telemedicine just boomed and you didn’t have to go into your doctor’s office, which was a plus, you could just do a telemedicine visit those go on today. So really saw this boom, and these virtual visits. So that kind of changed the way health care is provided. The other thing is, family couldn’t people use FaceTime, they use different tools to contact family to allow family member to, you know, speak with their loved one. So that was huge for the patients and for families as well. The one of the tools we used was medical memory. And that, that for me, changed the face of of the way we deliver information. And I’m going to say I’m going to tell you why. I think FaceTime is wonderful for a patient who has COVID to speak to a family member real time in a back and forth exchange. I think it’s it’s just really good for those family to family member to patient communications. It’s great. When I think about telemedicine and I think about other tools use to to talk with patients about health care about very important health information, medical information that’s kind of difficult to follow patients, especially if you have brain fog, right? Um, so what we when medical memory, the difference was, this video recording is made of the provider or the nurse or the technician, whoever and to have a conversation with the patient, it’s recorded, and therefore the family and the patient can watch it and say, What What did you say whereas I did FaceTime and gave that medical information or if I did telemedicine and gave that information, I still have that same deficit I had if I deliver that information at the bedside, I still am not sure they understood everything I said, I’m not sure they understood the plan of care. But if if they have a video, and if a video is pushed to family and if a video of the patient has it now you have this team approach. Everyone can pause, rewind, pause, rewind, we’re gonna watch that again. What did the doctor say about wound care when mom gets home so that was a game changer for us during COVID in and it really drove home the difference between I’m going to deliver this message, I’m going to let you have this conversation, I’m going to deliver this information to you. And now poof, it’s gone. Right? Once that call hangs up once that virtual visit is is over information, it’s gone. With medical memory, that information is still there. That was the difference.
Yeah, you know, it’s interesting. So we, we, we medical memory, we were out in Arizona, and we were recording or, or a few patient testimonials. And one of our patients was telling me, you know, he’s like to be able to not only like, rewatch that video, but he’s like, we all were in this, I have six sisters, I am the I Am the power of attorney. And he’s like, so it’s not only just the doctors responsibility to make sure that I understand everything, but now it’s my responsibility mature, all my siblings, were already playing the game of three or four times. So he was, you know, to now have that recorded, and be able to share it with all of them, just as you said, we all knew how to support. But also, we got to see the doctor doing the little things that you said on your checklist. He’s like, we got to see that he was laughing with her about how she always needed an extra blanket. And we were seeing that he sat down with her and had that conversation. And so he said, not only did she start seeing, okay, he’s treating my parent as a person. But we’re also seeing, we’re seeing this doctor, as a person, we’re seeing this doctor, as someone that’s like doing the best I can for my mom, and not just leaving it, but now my family member, we all have the ability to make better decisions and better understand it and watch it three or four times. But we saw that human element of which put us at ease, and definitely made us trust him more because we could see the care he was providing to our mom. And I thought that was really interesting. And you always think of it doctors Just think of it the other way, like oh my god, what if what they see is you being gentle, and kind and empathetic and doing all the things you already do really, really well. Like you’re they’re looking for the best of you not looking for a reason to be upset, you know, and that was the first reaction that this patient had. You know,
I you know what? Absolutely. And the truth is, think about when we used to allow seems like so long ago, they’re all family members at the bedside, I have five, you know, brother, four brothers and one sister, so five siblings. And everyone has different questions and people like, you know, sit around, like, kind of stocking the doctor waiting for the doctor to show up. I have to hear what the doctor says. Because God forbid you miss that window. It’s gone. Right? Yeah, you don’t hit that bewitching hour, you it is over forever, and never get it back. And mom sure can explain it back to me. You know. So the fact is, it takes away that anxiety and suffering. That’s the beauty of this. The other piece, I would say is just what you said, How caring is it, that your provider care so much that your provider is willing to be transparent, and put on video, those instructions, so not only you have to you don’t have to remember it, it’s on video, but your family can also see it and they can help you how caring is that insulate that patient? Help caring is that to be transparent. If the information you’re deliver, you should never as a provider, you know, think the information I’m telling a patient about pre op worker or pack in the packet about the surgery or at the bedside the plan of care, you know, worried about that information being used against you hopefully that information is solid and sound and based on science and, and research. And so what you know, there’s no problem with it being recorded. It’s it’s what you say to your patients. So the transparencies key to again, when you talk about Julie V’s you know body language or these other things people can infer from your actions, I would infer Wow, that’s a transparent provider. Wow, that provider getting paid extra to do this. That provider is so confident in this clinic that providers willing to put it on video.
Well, and that’s what you saw too, then like okay, taking it out of you that experience for a patient is you saw that, wait a minute, when this was even happening, it’s showing and data is showing in money back into the hospital if there’s a true ROI to to even having that recorded. We even saw two.
That’s right. Absolutely. Absolutely.
You know, so it does kind of go of like, you know, outside of the the there’s always you know, medicine still business No matter how much you want to pretend it’s not it is and it feels like wait a minute, when we actually are being more transparent, we are providing this extra second to sit down and lean in and eye contact or pressing record, you know, on the device, it does actually, it does actually support the hospital too. And and interesting you said that is, you know, recording over 86 I think we’re up to 87,000 patients at this point. We’ve never had anyone be sued because of one of the videos not once so to me. But we haven’t and and actually, I think we’ve had a few providers that have used the video to say, I clearly told you to stop smoking and not smoke.
it’s it’s providers, I think, I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, or what we’ve evolved of everyone’s looking to sue and I don’t think it is I think people are just looking to be supported and get some of that control back that that you say is so hard that they can’t have, you know, in in the hospital, and I think that’s where you start seeing it more that way versus what’s gonna happen, you know, what, what are like two things that I can do that won’t take up any time to make this easier? Sit down prep record, you know, I don’t know
how you I’m going to tell you there are, again, 35 years in healthcare, you know, started out as a surgical tech in the army, and I have seen every patient encounter, you can see I have lived on the frontlines, right. And I’m going to tell you, patients who Sue Sue because they’re angry. And a lot of times it has to do with the lack of communication, people who file complaints, file complaints, because they’re angry, and generally they feel something’s been withheld from them in terms of information. So when patients trust their provider, when patients feel their provider care about them as a person, they are less likely to sue, even if something goes wrong. We patients just like anyone else, you and I understand human error, we understand our bodies are not an exact science, right? And can happen. But we trust in that provider skills we trust in that providers competence. We trust that the the decisions they’re making are clinically sound. And we know there are risks, they’re explained to us in detail. And so patients definitely get it there are risks. When I see people angry. Predominantly, it has to do with a lack of communication.
Yeah, lack of control. You know, that’s so interesting. You said that, well, awesome. Jermaine, you are always a depth and breadth of knowledge. I love like the three little things you even mentioned that are so simple and easy to think about. You know, sitting down in asking one question, I mean, that’s something I think someone could really almost start utilizing tomorrow as a trick to just think a little differently, you know, change. And so I always appreciate you and your wisdom. And thank you so much for joining us. And for anyone that ever has any questions about what it means for recording and the implications there. Go to the website, medical memory.com or download the app to try it out or CDM. Any questions? Thanks again, it’s your man. I appreciate you being here, Julie. Take care.
CEO, Real Talk Selling (Dental Sales Training Program)
Sherrine Washington, MSW, is a former Therapist turned award-winning Multi-Million Dollar Sales Coach & Trainer and Founder of Real Talk Sales Consulting LLC.
When it comes to sales, Sherrine is a rainmaker. To date, she has sold over 34 million for national brands, 32 million in dental implants alone.
Using her award-winning selling skills, she developed the proprietary R.E.A.L Talk Selling™ System featuring her profitable Accelerator Program to help dentists convert potential prospects into patients on the same day of the consultation-PAID IN FULL.
A career highlight includes serving on the Corporate Leadership Team at Clear Choice Management Services LLC., a role reserved for the top eight performers within the company. Sherrine was also honored the TOP PRODUCER OF THE YEAR award at Clear Choice.
Using her sales methodology over the years, Sherrine consistently maintained a SAME-DAY close rate of 85%-90% at price points ranging between $25,000- $50,000. Her passion is transforming untrained treatment coordinators and “ready to win” sales professionals into revenue-generating machines.
Transcription of Podcast
Julie Yorumez 0:01
All right. Hi, I’m Julie Yorumez. With take one patient I am so excited to be talking to my very, very dear friend and respected colleague, Miss Schering, Washington. And so she has been working with dentists across the match’s country like really kind of all over about how to really optimize their sales process how to optimize their communication process and I think that as we look at you know, different ways to communicate effectively to patients as we start recording, you know, more and more visits I think taking some ideas from elective medicine from from physicians that actually have more of a you know, pay for the procedures that we’re doing mentality, and how we can really apply it into just day to day nursing and basic doctor conversation. So today, corniness here is with serene Washington frame. A little bit, um, tell me a little bit about like what you do and what you do now for dentists to help them improve the way that they communicate.
Sherrine Washington 1:11
Yes, we know each other from from clear choice, our basic clear choice working in sales. And I transitioned from working in a sales capacity to really my true passion, which is being a sales trainer. So I’m a sales trainer, coach and dent in trusted dental advisor. And I trained dentists and their treatment presenters how to close five figure cases on the same day of the consultation paid in full. And so a lot of what I do is even just introducing sales, the word sales to a lot of offices, because that word is taboo sometimes. So I start with that, and the week basically create a repeatable sales process that allows them to drive revenue through the doors of their practice.
Julie Yorumez 1:58
So So I and I, and I recognize that as far as like sales has this has this dirty word, even even with you know, a lot of you know, our clients, you know, a hospital is still in business. And unfortunately, you know, it is the nature of you know, we do have to pay patients you have to pay, whether it be insurance or right out of pocket in order to get treatment. Why do you think that that is such a hard mentality for people wrap themselves around there? Why is sales such a dirty word when it comes to medicine? Yeah,
Sherrine Washington 2:29
well, I think, for most people, they, when they think of sales, they think back to a, maybe a bad interaction that they personally had with a salesperson, whether it be purchasing a car, or purchasing a high dollar ticket item. And they get this vision in their mind of being backed into a corner, and someone pushing them and forcing them to do something. But speaking to your point, sales exists in essentially, every business, there’s no getting around it, right. But if you see sales, from the perspective of this person is coming to me with a need. And I have something that will solve that need. So this is a mutual exchange, it’s a conversation to see if what I offer is going to help solve their problem. And I have an obligation to serve this person, because they need my help. If you look at it from that perspective, it kind of takes the bad out of what most people associate the word sales with, if that makes sense.
Julie Yorumez 3:33
Right? Because I think it goes even back to kind of those old old movies or those old sales movies where you know, I know more than you and I’m going to manipulate you and convince you to do something that you don’t necessarily need, or that’s going to be double what is actually the value is and so I love that what you’re saying is, you know, when we take a step back and stop thinking of that conversation, and that, you know, kind of teamwork, if you will on I’m going to get something from you or you’re going to get something from me and more of our it how do we figure this out? together? Yeah, it really strengthens kind of that, that conversation and turns it from, alright, this isn’t a sales thing is more of a, you know, mutual exchange
Sherrine Washington 4:14
of value. Absolutely. This is like the collaborative, right? This is a collaborative effort where I have something that you potentially need, and we’re going to talk about it and figure out if this is a good fit, and if it’s not a good fit, and it’s a no for now, that’s okay, too. Right? And if someone in the sales industry is really passionate about what they do, at the end of the day, if what you offer is not a good fit for your client, you should feel okay to even recommend another service for them. That’s going to be a better fit. Yeah, right. Maybe that’s important. Right?
Julie Yorumez 4:47
Well, I think it also goes back to you know me as a patient I would have or my dad for example, he had even neurosurgery so he has no ability to To understand the skill set of the doctor that he’s talking to, he has no ability to even recognize are they awesome at this was terrible about this. I mean, you can see reviews and you can see, you know, they’re board certified and all of those pieces, but there’s no way that you have that. The only way that you really can understand, Hey, is this a good fit for me is this the right person to entrust you know my body to is kind of by the way they come across as kind of, by the way that they are communicating about their skill level and themselves. You know, and so I think as you said, it’s like, you know, if it’s a mutual change your value in a good conversation and a doctor say, hey, this might not be the best for you or I might not be the best for you. It’s kind of more of that versus like, let me manipulate you and convince you to do something that you don’t need.
Sherrine Washington 5:48
Yeah, exactly. I always use the example when I go to my primary care, I never, I mean, the word sales doesn’t even pop into my mind if if I’m going to my primary care. But if my doctor said shareen, you complaining of chest pains, I think we need to have an EKG. If that EKG isn’t covered with my insurance. I’m not thinking that my primary care is out to get me. In fact, I’m gonna say, doesn’t matter whether or not my insurance is gonna cover it. If you recommend an EKG, let’s do it. Right? And we take action, right? But why is it different? When we have a patient that goes to the dentist, right? And the dentist says, Listen, we’ve got major infection here, you’ve got three teeth that needs to be be need to be extracted, like, as soon as possible. Let’s go ahead and get this. Why does the conversation change? Yeah, yeah. And why is the salesperson are we afraid to help this The difference is still medicine is still the body? Sure. Right. So we have to change our mindset.
Julie Yorumez 6:53
Well, and the other space that you know, you and I both worked in quite a bit. It’s not even just like dentistry, but plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery, you know, bariatric surgery, you know, I learned you know, getting more into the hospital setting. You know, even a lot of these physicians will say, even a hip replacement or a knee replacement. It may not be something that’s needed right away, it may be something even that you decide to wait three or four years. But the same thing is going is you’re coming into a situation now this is something that I need. It may not be an emergency, but I’m coming to you with some concerns. I’m coming to you with some questions about something that is not comfortable with my body. Even my perception of my body is it’s plastic surgery or liposuction. It’s like I’m not in a healthy, full complete space herself. And then come doctor help me and it is kind of like that. It is Yes. Is that communication mutual exchange of value, but it’s also like Alright, let me start educating you and influencing you about what might be necessary. Yeah,
Sherrine Washington 7:59
no, I agree with that. And I agree with what you’re saying on a personal level because I’m a very attic patient. I’m also a plastic surgery patient I had all the skin removed after I had weight loss surgery. And I always tell people I went to several different offices to have console’s and I told the patient coordinator that I was paying cash for my treatment and no one asked me if I was ready to do it. And I was wanting someone to ask me and if they had asked me I would have never thought of this person is this person is sleazy this person is slimy this person is trying to get my money right waiting for someone to leave me to help make my decision right here because I wanted it and I had already mentally prepared to do it. Sure. Why did I have to go to five different offices
Julie Yorumez 8:51
right well that’s interesting help me Yeah, I’m ready to take that step just hold my hand and walk with me with the road I mean I’m ready to do something because you are You don’t know anything about you know that procedure before walking into an office you know, you’re expecting them to kind of be experts guide out the steps and say let’s do this thing you made the choice to walk in let’s go and and instead of be like, Well think about it, or whatever you want to do. It wasn’t that hey, like walking in? Was you saying yes, before you even came in? You know, and that’s
Sherrine Washington 9:21
it. That’s it. So I mean, I think that the the moral of the story is, why are we afraid to ask? Yeah, I don’t need to be afraid to ask if a patient is ready and we don’t need to be afraid to be confident and poised and relaxed and having that conversation
Julie Yorumez 9:42
Sure. You know, I think that that really can apply again even to outside of just cosmetic surgery. I mean, working with a lot of neurosurgeons even orthopedic surgeons, you know a lot of them are in that same space as a patient may be considering three or four doctors. They may not be considering do i do They’re not they may be considering different people. And I do think that that confidence of I’m going to take care of you, let’s do this thing does make a patient gain more trust in that provider of their that confidence to say you should do this, let’s go. It doesn’t come off as manipulative or overbearing or salesy. It comes across as confident, and I don’t know, you know, people, they’re not thinking I can just say that, you know,
Sherrine Washington 10:25
yeah, well, you know, consumers are more educated than we think that they are. And the internet makes it easy for people to kind of like, okay, these are my options. And I think a lot of people look at their options, and they are literally looking for a reason to say no, all right, I’m gonna ask this person off. Nope. You know, we’re looking for that. Yeah. And so as a doctor, whatever field of medicine, what are you willing to do to stand out above the rest? To make it easy for the patient to choose you? You know, like I said, is this back to that confidence? It’s okay to toot our own horn, it’s okay to let a patient know, like, wow, I would love to have you as my patient. As a patient, a doctor said that to me. You would love to have me as a patient. Write me up. Yeah, right. You know,
Julie Yorumez 11:18
yeah. So empathy kind of goes with it. I’m like, I’ll take care of you. I’ve got you, you know, and there, too. So when you are working? I mean, so you work with a lot of different dentists, you know, across the country? What would you say separates the doctors that do unnecessarily sale do communicate really well, from those that don’t? What do you think is the biggest differentiator between them?
Sherrine Washington 11:41
I think the doctors that get that when they meet with a patient, that it’s not about their agenda. Those are the the I would say those are the doctors that are really successful. Number one, they’re not afraid to invest in training. Sure. And because training is an you know, you don’t like pay for training and like, okay, yep, I don’t need it anymore. The doctors that realize, like, I want to level up, I want to be better in the industry, I want to dictate my own schedule, I want to dominate, I want to be able to have a three or four day work week instead of a five day work week. Those are the doctors that really put forth the effort and being better communicators with their patients, they learn to listen, more than talk. They are naturally very, very curious. Sure. Yeah. They they. They’re open to even changing up how they do things, because a lot of the doctors who I help, I have to, like, totally revamp how they do things I have to revamp their patient funnel, I have to, if I have them do a virtual tour of their office, I might tell them, no, you can’t present treatment in that room, you got to present it over here. Yeah, and those doctors that are like, okay, shareen, and they trust me, and they’re willing to try things, and they’re willing to see if it feels uncomfortable. Those are the doctors that that thrive and do really well at communicating with your patients.
Julie Yorumez 13:09
You know, so interesting, you say that, because we were just I had an opportunity to, to work with the director of patient experience and have her on a few of these. And she was talking about, you know, I was like, Hey, what are one of the three things that you would say, in a hospital setting, separates, you know, your top communicators from those that aren’t? And she said, you know, she had, she had her list of, you know, sit down, and it was a lot of body language. But one of the things that she did say she said, they make sure that they’re asking, like, what is it that you understand about this, and ask a lot more questions, because the act of making sure that a patient is really comprehending what they’re needing. And what you can do to help them is a huge piece for patient experience and patients to have a better experience with their provider. And oftentimes, the doctor will think, Hey, I can just tell you to spend five minutes talking at you or talking with you, okay, this is a difference but talking at you, and and you’ll know everything that you need. And she says no, no, that’s not it. It’s it’s that extra, your two minutes would be like, Do you understand what we’re going to do? Like, are you comfortable with how we’re going to move forward? Like where How do you feel about what we’re thinking, and really having of just even a few of those conversations? I know in dentistry in a concentrated space, there’s a consultants doing a lot more of that. I remember that too. We’re talking more even in like a critical care floor or an ICU acute care setting where a doctor only maybe has five or six minutes to provide the update that this patient needs. And that’s that little time of like, how do you feel about what we’re thinking about doing? Do you understand what’s going to be happening? Tell me how you’re feeling. And just those three questions after the piece at the end kind of goes back to just what you said is its takes away from their agenda. What they I’m going to be doing and make sure it turns into a conversation to learn and listen more than they’re talking.
Sherrine Washington 15:07
Yeah, yeah, it definitely. Yeah. I think that we don’t give patients enough credit. I think that a lot of patients, I know, even just speaking myself, when I go to the doctor, if I don’t feel well, I’m almost kind of like diagnosing myself. I think a lot of people are like, Oh, man, I think I have bronchitis, I need to go to the doctor, I think I got this, I think I got that we can go online, and we can diagnose ourselves, right? So when we go into the doctor, I, you know, I always love a doctor that’s like, so what are you thinking is going on? Because like, I know my body. Yeah. Love to add, I could be wrong. I’m not a doctor. But yeah, that you asked me. You thought to ask me, you already have my attention. You know, right. I think the biggest piece of somebody says to me, what, what advice would you give to any doctor, I think the biggest piece of advice, I’m going to be doing a webinar just a little bit, and we’re going to be talking about this is, is really slowing down and watching your pace. And even saying out loud, to a patient. Let’s slow things down for a moment. Let’s slow things down. Like if somebody said that to me in a medical office, I’d be like, okay, right? I’d almost be like, okay, we’re gonna slow this thing. Alright, let’s sleep back. Like, okay, and now you have my attention. Yeah, because you’re telling me just the idea of that. And changing your tone. And your inflection in your voice, helps me to be at attention, because now you’re getting ready to say something, to me, that’s very important. And then listening.
Julie Yorumez 16:50
Want it’s interesting, even the way that you’re saying that, again, in your space and thinking about my nurses and my doctors that are in a more of an acute care setting, where they’re going in and rounding on each patient in the morning, oftentimes, like 5am 510 minutes are going in each room, that even if they know, I only have that five minutes to be in there, that they come in and say, Okay, I’m going to sit down with you for a second, which was a great, you know, idea someone else had provided, and we’re going to slow things down, and we’re just going to talk, even if they spend the same amount of time, the perception of that patient, because I have nowhere to be, I’m going to be doing this like slowly and calmly. And we’re going to, we’re going to make sure that we’re both in the same space. But as you said, as a patient listening to that, all of a sudden, I’m not thinking about the list of what I need to do, I’m not thinking about one and a half for lunch, I’m not thinking about the fight I had with my boyfriend, like nothing about any of that I’m like, oh, we’re okay, I’m with you, we need it like, like, both of them. And it’s so even if a doctor is saying, I’m gonna sit down and put things down, and we’re gonna have a talk, that little agenda of making sure that the patient says, Hey, we’re gonna, this is what this is going to look like for the next four or five minutes of our dialogue. It’s not necessarily about spending 20 minutes, it’s making sure that that little bit of time is used effectively. So I love that I love that and like thinking about as you’re saying of, like, how applicable that is, into this hospital settings of, you know, let’s just take a minute, we’re gonna slow down and it gives you that mental note as well as makes the patient have that mental note, I love that. That’s great. That’s so applicable. Awesome, you know, you so so medical memory I work with that they use video, where they’re actually then recording those conversations. So you know, you have that slow down, you have that check in. So not only the patient can re access it, but also the family members can access that, which makes me think about, gosh, what a great even perspective for a family member to see a doctor saying, Hey, I’m going to come in and we’re going to slow things down. And let’s really sit and talk for a minute about this. Um, so that’s how we’re using medical memory. Now you use medical memory in a totally different capacity where you’re actually not giving the patient not necessarily a copy of the video, but more so using it to record the doctor and provide feedback on the way that the doctor is communicating about their consultation. What makes you start to even think about using video as it relates to improving communication.
Sherrine Washington 19:24
Well, I wasn’t a big fan of having to be recorded years ago, working as a consultative salesperson. And it was mainly because I looked at it the wrong way. And I thought, well, somebody’s looking at my video as I’m doing my consultations to judge me or to see what I’m doing wrong, right. It wasn’t until I really started watching myself on video, that I had such an appreciation for it. Because there were a lot of nonverbals that I was guilty of that I didn’t realize my facial expressions of my ability to To catch where someone maybe wasn’t quite understanding what I was saying I wasn’t looking at their body language that would help me to really clear my message. And now that I have my clients using video it’s a game changer because well it’s the closest thing to me being there without doctors having to pay me to actually fly to their office or sure, but it’s really focusing on the things that they do really really well because it’s not just adapted to treatment coordinator to but then those it’s those missed opportunities that because they say things that becomes their song and they say things all the time that I’m able to provide them with really great feedback and saying instead of using the word cheat, like we got to think of another word that we use instead of saying cheat because it devalues the treatment can we say that another another affordable option might be you know yeah I’m also noticing with medical memory and watch it is so powerful I can watch a medical memory video and when I’m done I can confidently say as a coach I know exactly where that went wrong I know exactly the moment down to the minute on the video where it unraveled yeah I get it but then it like went this direction and here’s why. yeah all right and then what here’s why we don’t do it here but then maybe that conversation you put it here right it’s it’s so dynamic The key is is is you know you’ve got to have people that are open to hearing the feedback oh okay yeah you’re right as opposed to somebody like resisting it but it’s it’s it’s so powerful for
Julie Yorumez 21:52
you almost said which was interesting is is is incorrect me if I’m wrong is that the first thing that you when you started using video is the first thing was just simply seeing yourself like even if you don’t have a coach even if you don’t have anybody that’s able to look at these videos. So even for like again going back to any nurse or any doctor maybe taking one day to say you know I wonder how I come across and watching just a couple of their own videos in and of itself would have a pretty profound effect and shifting some things that they would do communication wise.
Sherrine Washington 22:29
Absolutely yes yeah. And and when you start doing it you’re looking at the wrong things oh my god that angle my chin I look fat that that that that you know you’re looking at all the wrong things, right? We don’t need to look at that. We just need to look at my hands. My face. One of the first things I noticed in video was that I did this a lot. And I wasn’t even listening I could tell that I wasn’t listening because the patient would ask me a question and I had to say Can you say that again? I was doing things like subconsciously I wasn’t even aware of it. Yeah you know and then when I wasn’t on video I was like okay I had like this internal dialogue before I you know did my console that’s like okay so I’m no I’m not going to do this. I’m going to work on this and I’m going to work on that so you’re almost like coaching yourself
Julie Yorumez 23:23
still remember what I watched myself on video the first few times I could not believe how fast I taught and I still talk too fast it’s just my my like learning how to sell on the east coast and in New York you know Um, but yeah and I was like you know this patient is missing even half of the things that I’m saying because it’s just too fast and I should have taken that advice and like okay, we’re just gonna slow things down like let’s really talk about this it would have been a good like mental chat to be like okay, so we’re just going to slow things down and and like let’s make sure we’re on the same page even having a moment of that in that big you know, consultation. I couldn’t believe how fast I talked and it was a huge like, gut check of like, jewels oh my goodness
Sherrine Washington 24:12
and that’s another thing I mean, I’m from New Jersey so there’s a lot of like cultural like, you know, nuances that we have is sort of ingrained in us It doesn’t mean that we can’t change it but certainly we need to be aware of it talking fast talking too much. being overly animated. I mean, these are all things that can be tweaked. Yeah, if you see yourself doing
Julie Yorumez 24:36
honestly see yourself honestly Yeah, absolutely. So I love this shirt and I love I love already that one that one thing you said as far as this is a great way to just like make sure we’re on the same page I’m gonna slow things down that that’s my biggest takeaway, or what do you say you say in your in your things? You’re like, this is your one. What do you call it like your hot thing? I can’t remember I watched one of your webinars and you’re like, this is the one thing you should remember. Write it down.
Sherrine Washington 25:02
Write this down, write it down,
Julie Yorumez 25:05
write this down. So what would outside of you know that that that piece? What would be the other kind of two biggest things that you would say, and your space would be useful for it. You know, knowing what you know about nurses or doctors and kind of what I’ve explained to you well over the other two things from your expertise, do you think that they could also add outside of like that, let’s slow this down and reminding themselves to slow down? What would be two other things?
Sherrine Washington 25:29
I would think I would say checking in and checking in very early in the conversation. I think that when I watch doctors, or I watch anyone who comes into the room for the first time, we we jump in immediately to like, our purpose. Yeah. And I think that we have to, like, stop for a second. And think we don’t know what happened to this patient. Even before they like got there. Like, we don’t know, if they, you know, went in traffic. We don’t know if they were in an accident. We don’t know anything. And so I think going into the room, and just saying, how has your bid? What how’s your bid you’re visiting today? You know, and being mindful of how you ask that question. Yeah. And pausing, actually just counting in your head. Three seconds. How has your visit been today with our team? And then let them let him respond? And then when they’re done responding, count to yourself? 1231
Julie Yorumez 26:39
that so? Yeah, and so how am I so apical is like, how are you feeling today? How is the nurse team treating you? Well? How is it? How’s it How have you been treated at your stay? You know, if they’ve been there for a little ways of even if it’s something a doctor can’t do, like I’m just cold or I’m hungry, or I’m nervous, like, you know, at least that that I’m hurt someone’s asking me, and I’m going to be heard is huge
Sherrine Washington 27:07
in how you ask, right? So most people, if they come in, they have a clipboard or something and they have papers. They’re like, Hey, how are you doing right today? All right. So what we’re going to do is that the way that I just said that is like, okay, check, check, check. I don’t even care what the person said. They could have told me they had a bad day. I’m just asking you because you know, that’s the right thing to do. Yeah. If you come into a room and you say, Hi, I’m Sheree. Your name is nice to meet you. You’re doing okay today? 123. Right, there’s a difference.
Julie Yorumez 27:45
There’s a difference. There’s a difference. There’s a it’s just
Sherrine Washington 27:49
how you do it. Yeah, slow it down. really listen, and if the person says, oh, today was a ok day, some people would say okay, great. Well, actually, no, it’s not. How difficult is it to say? Are you sure? Yeah, I’m not too convinced. Yeah. Oh, I had a horrible day. I went to public. Some people just want to say they want to share Yeah. Right. That in itself builds trust. Yeah, wanting especially now with COVID you know, everything has changed you go to the doctor now there’s all these formalities. You got to call before you go in you gotta have your match but so we have dehumanised really patient interaction. It’s tough. I don’t like going to the doctor now you got a call? And then sometimes they’re nasty. Well, we’ll go come get you and then you come in you. So what can we do? Yeah, despite the world that we live in right now, to really help people feel important because the world that we live in right now it brings us down a notch. So small things you know,
Julie Yorumez 29:01
Shri in your tree always so appreciate your intellect and your wisdom and I think you know, so many of the things that you’re saying are so applicable it’s it’s it’s just crazy. So you know, I love it. I love what you’re mentioning, you’re like, you know, these are the hot things these are the things that write down and I think as we kind of you know, continue to you know, record patient videos we’ve recorded you know, about I think about 80,000 videos, I think these little tiny nuggets that take no time like very little time can be so applicable to make people feel more comfortable recording themselves more comfortable giving patients these video messages and just feeling like more equipped with tools in their tool, tube, tool, belt Lord, tool belt, to really give that patient a great experience and, and eventually the more they practice it, they don’t have to think about it. It’s just this every time you know, to get into that comfortable space. So thank you so much for your time. And refer for teaching us about your world a little bit. I appreciate you
Unknown Speaker 30:04
and thank you for having me. All right, thank you so much.
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