The Customer is NEVER Right - A Nurse Practitioner's Perspective
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Letter to

A friend forwarded your Emergency Medicine (EM) News (Feb 2014) column a few days ago. As I read your words I thought you were on-target with my book, “The Customer is NEVER Right: A Nurse Practitioner’s Perspective”. My friend, an EM physician, thought the same and why he forwarded your column to me.

My only disagreement would be that the drunk, addicted and/or those who never pay their medical bills are the ones “who slow down care and make life unpleasant” for healthcare workers. Instead, my experience has been, that population, although difficult, are NOT the crux of poor customer satisfaction/experience scores. Because, although they may kick, unfortunately sometimes literally, and scream, they rarely participate in customer surveys and even less common submit formal complaints.

Otherwise, you have, unknowingly, summed up what took me three years to put together. Unfortunately, both of us are preaching to the choir. That is not to say administrators, politicians, and regulators, as you listed, have not heard some form of our cry, as neither you nor I are the first to point out the same.

For example, with regard to healthcare directed violence alone, in a blog I titled “Silent National Crisis”, in May 2013, I mentioned that violence towards healthcare workers has been well documented, for decades, by many agencies, both private and government, yet little has changed, if anything, it has gotten worse.

On that note, because it has been well documented, and for so long, I know others have seen the numbers as well but have turned a blind eye. Here is a great example. Kai Falkenber, Forbes Staff, in Jan 2013 published  a similar story to yours and mine in Forbes. Yet, despite Forbes’ vast circulation, which I am sure some on your list subscribe to, Ms. Falkenberg’s article gained no traction.

Likewise, I have submitted “The Customer is NEVER Right” to three national healthcare conferences only to have those organizations’ gatekeepers decline my application, claiming the book’s objective and content are NOT relevant to their audiences. Yet, the book has resonated with every healthcare worker I know, but, again, they are the choir.
Nonetheless, thanks for your contribution. Hopefully it reaches others interested.

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