This guest blog post was written by Dr. Eric Lunn, president of Altru Health System.
When I was in the eighth grade, I decided I was going to be a doctor. There was no pivotal life moment that drove this decision. I just knew I wanted to be a pediatrician.
It was my dream.
Two years later, as a sophomore in high school, I returned home from school one day—completely devastated. I had taken an aptitude test, and my high school guidance counselor told me I wasn’t smart enough to be a doctor.
My dream was crushed.
Through hard work and determination, I graduated high school, then college, then medical school and graduated with honors. When I returned home, my mom marched into that high school guidance counselor’s office, laid my freshly printed diploma on his desk and said, “Never, ever, ever tell another student he can’t do something in life.”
Delivering world-class care to the residents of our region is Altru Health System’s vision. World-class care doesn’t mean providing good or great care. It means getting an A+ from patients and families 100 percent of the time. Every experience with every person in the health system must be spot-on. People have a tendency to remember the negative, so even if 9/10 encounters are great, the not-so-great one is often what’s remembered. Being world-class means being consistently great.
Pair this with the future of health care: decreasing reimbursement for services rendered. This national trend will continue for the next several years. The key for Altru will be to maintain, or improve, our excellent quality and service, while being paid less for what we provide. Delivering world-class care, at a lower cost, will undoubtedly be a challenge.
Like the aptitude test I faced as a sophomore in high school, along the journey there will be setbacks. It’s our job to continue pressing forward. I’ll leave you with this quote from Winston Churchill: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
As we journey toward world-class care, 2015 will be filled with opportunities, thanks to Dr. Casey Ryan’s 17.5 years of leading Altru Health System. It is a privilege to follow in his footsteps and continue on this journey to world-class care.
What does world-class care mean to you? Leave a comment.