By Jay Juffre

Recently, while looking for a used car for my dad, I found myself sitting in the office of the ‘Certified Pre-Owned Inventory Manager’. Call me a little skeptical, but he seemed a lot like a used car salesman to me. I’ve never been big on titles or job descriptions. Let’s face it, most of the time it is not possible to encapsulate everything that someone is responsible for in a three or four-word title or two-page Word document, but there are some exceptions. Sometimes a person’s title or recognized responsibilities can have a dramatic impact not only on them, but on the people they interact with every day. Carefully chosen words can help someone take more pride in what they do and therefore result in better customer or patient satisfaction. For example, compare the haggard title of ‘Receptionist’ with the more enlightened ‘Director of first impressions.’ How might someone in this position do a better job of greeting visitors? Instead of an ‘Admissions Clerk’, how about a ‘Patient Advocate’? Could interactions patients or their families have with these individuals feel less transactional? Once, I saw ‘Ear to ear smile’ as one of the requirements listed on a job description. Think that might send an inspiring message? Point is simple, what you call your team members can have a remarkable effect of how they feel, act and interact. Patient care will always be about being great at what you do, but patient experience is all about how you do it. Perceptions go a long way in shaping our reality. The right title and list of job responsibilities can easily help us evolve the culture of our organizations. As we enter 2022, feel free to mix things up by tweaking stale titles and outdated job responsibilities. The team may surprise you with their response and your patients will certainly feel the difference.

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