Win Howard is once again our guest on Healthcare Experience Matters, created by our Healthcare Experience Foundation partners. Win joins our podcast to discuss a topic that is near and dear to his heart—gratitude. Today’s discussion focuses on the implementation of gratitude in straightforward and unique ways to make a genuine impact on people.
There are takeaways from the discussion that are helpful to those in healthcare leadership positions, but the basic principles of this discussion are applicable to folks in any walk of life.
As loyal listeners of this podcast can attest, Win is a devoted and passionate healthcare leader. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. Located in the rural setting of Grants Pass, Oregon, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center is a 120-bed facility with about 1200 employees. It is a 5-star CMS hospital.
The impact of employee culture and its influence on both the patient experience and safety was the focus of our first chat with Win. This interview took place in December 2021 and you can listen to it here.
Much of today’s chat explores the many ways healthcare leaders can express gratitude and the implications on the patient experience are very real. Gratitude can play a major role in promoting an engaged workforce with the residual benefits often helping to elevate the patient experience.
In the opening minutes of today’s chat, Win talks about whether sending someone a “thank you email” is enough to truly make an impact. Win concludes that sending an email is akin to doing the bare minimum, but it is better than doing nothing. He illustrates his point with a baseball metaphor.
“Sending an email is like getting on first base. At least you are doing something, and it is important to do that,” Win said. “An email is a good start, but a written note, phone call, or letter are more important and shows you really value that person. “
Win mentions two more key aspects about gratitude:
- Sending gratitude is time sensitive. (e.g., you should send your thanks relatively soon after the event you are thankful for takes place.)
- Being specific about why you are thankful is important when sending thanks.
Looking for the timestamps of how this podcast breaks down? Use the below timestamps to jump to any section:
- About Win and Asante Three Rivers Medical Center. (1:45)
- Why showing gratitude is important. (3:32)
- How showing gratitude can influence your organization’s culture and have a positive impact on the patient experience. (5:15)
- Is sending a “thank you email” really enough to make an impact? (6:55)
- How Win goes beyond the standard thank you note by thanking his staff’s parents. (9:15)
- Is it important to include items with monetary value in a thank you note (e.g., restaurant gift cards)? (12:40)