South Florida Hospital News
Saturday April 4, 2020

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March 2020 - Volume 16 - Issue 9




When It Comes to Patient Care, Show Some Urgency

My air travel is streaky. I can literally go months where everything goes perfectly. Then I go through a few weeks where nothing goes right. Recently I was in the latter situation. Monday, 5:15 am, getting ready to board and the announcement came, “ … there is a problem with the plane’s brakes, we are looking at about a half hour delay.”

We watched as the flight crew deplaned and went for coffee. After about an hour, they announced everything looked good and they simply had to back it out, make sure the brakes worked properly and we would be good to go. We sat and waited another 45 minutes. Then someone else made the same announcement.
At this point, people with connecting flight began to lose their minds. After another hour, the maintenance team slowly backed the plane out and brought it back to place. Announcement number four, “ladies and gentlemen, we just have to locate your crew, get them back on the plane and then we will begin the boarding process … ”
Listen, I am all for airline safety, but I am also in favor of a thing called urgency. The same is true for patient care. Everyone gets it, stuff happens, and most people are more than understanding. It is important that we train our teams to be accurate with information and show urgency. In the end people just want the facts and they want to know that we are taking aggressive steps to fix the situation at hand.
Health systems are leasing huge digital billboards boasting low wait times for their ERs, but they think nothing when a patient has to wit in an exam or waiting room for 20-30 minutes with no explanation. Many told less than accurately, “the doctor will be right with you …’ When it comes to patient care, avoid the airline approach, be honest and show urgency, your patients and their families will appreciate it. 


Jay Juffre is Executive Vice President, ImageFIRST. For more information on ImageFIRST, call 1-800-932-7472 or visit

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