Hendricks Regional Health Blog

Treat People Better

Posted by: Barry Freeman, M.D.   |   Friday, November 1, 2013   |   Latest Articles   |   Back to Blog

TREAT PEOPLE BETTER ... what does that mean?

For me, Treat People Better has always described how NICE Hendricks Regional Health employees are. We are nice when we take the extra time to talk to patients. We are nice when we schedule tests at convenient times. We are nice when a patient's family member is looking for the cafeteria. We do nice things. We sponsor plenty of nice community projects. We sponsor various high school athletic programs. We have had community Halloween parties and other events at the hospital or Hendricks Regional Health YMCA. And that is what I thought the slogan signified ... we treat our patients nicely.

But recently I had a patient case that made me realize that Treat People Better is more than a comment about how nice we are. Treat People Better is what we do. We treat their medical problems better than most.

A middle-aged mother of two was seen at one of our Immediate Care Centers. She was found to have a lymph node requiring a biopsy. The biopsy was non-conclusive and she was advised to see me as soon as possible. I arranged to see her the following morning at 7:30 before my regularly scheduled patients. I did a complete exam during which I found a breast mass. Immediately after her visit, my assistant who has worked for the Hendricks Regional Health for 11 years scheduled her for a diagnostic mammogram and a CT scan later that morning. At the same time, another staff member who has worked for Hendricks for almost 10 years was pre-certifying these tests with the patient's insurance.

By 10:30 that same morning, my patient had already had her diagnostic mammogram which confirmed our suspicions. A radiologist who has worked at Hendricks for 11 years read the mammogram and personally spoke with the patient. He described his concerns and offered to do the biopsy that very day.  The fine needle biopsy was done by the radiologist just before noon. And within an hour, a pathologist who has practiced here for 25 years confirmed the diagnosis of breast cancer. At about 1:30, our cancer navigator, a nurse who has also worked here for 23 years, spent some important time with the patient. She outlined what was going to happen next and reassured her during a very scary time. The patient was scheduled to see a Hendricks surgeon within a few days. My patient left the hospital with a diagnosis and a treatment plan just seven hours after she walked into my office. I called her later that  evening to offer my reassurance as well. All in all, my patient received direct care from six people that day who have combined to work for Hendricks for the better part of 100 years. All of that experience enabled our patient to receive the very best care.

The purpose of this essay is not to pat myself, my staff, or Hendricks Regional Health on the back. I personally do not coordinate something like this every day. But EVERY DAY, on some unit, or in some Hendricks managed physician practice, a patient receives the excellent, personal care that my patient received on that day. Here at Hendricks, we are very good at providing the routine care offered at most facilities. But more importantly, we are blessed to have skillful physicians AND a caring staff who together provide BETTER care.

Treat People Better – it is not just a slogan, it is what we do.

clientuploads/2013/Hendricks_News_Reports/Freeman_B.jpgBarry Freeman, M.D.
Board-Certified, Internal Medicine
Board-Certified, Pediatrics

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