Would You Treat Them Differently?

All of our minds are filled with things that no one else will ever know.

“If you could stand in someone else’s shoes, hear what they hear, see what they see, feel what they feel, would you treat them differently?”

This is the question asked by the Cleveland Clinic, one of the top hospitals in the country, renowned for being a pioneer in patient experience. The Cleveland Clinic was the first major academic medical center to make patient experience a strategic goal, the first to appoint a Chief Experience Officer, and one of the first academic medical centers to establish an Office of Patient Experience. Their slogan: Every Life Deserves World Class Care.

CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD, shared a video, titled “Empathy,” with the Cleveland Clinic staff during his 2013 State of the Clinic address on February 27. In it, we see into the minds of patients, families, healthcare providers, and hospital staff — the good and the bad, the celebrations and the devastations.

We each carry burdens and joys around with us wherever we go, but nowhere do people experience as high highs and low lows as within the four walls of a hospital.

Watch the Cleveland Clinic’s Empathy video below:

I saw the Cleveland Clinic’s former Chief Experience Officer, Bridget Duffy, speak at Mark Hurst’s conference Good Experience Live in 2008. I was wildly impressed with her, the work that the Cleveland Clinic does to create as positive an experience as possible for its patients and staff, and their commitment to putting empathy at the core of everything they do. Read my notes from her session.

Thank you to my friend John Labriola for sharing this video with me.

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  1. John Labriola says

    You’re very welcome Whitney! What they’re doing is great and I love seeing examples that are not so direct.


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