Finding Our Way

Quilted Fabric Art by Deidre Scherer

I was recently on a consulting assignment at a large medical center and was invited by one of the staff during a lunch break to take a tour of their new “command center” and “experience care coordination at its best”. As I entered this large renovated area, I felt like I had just boarded the starship enterprise. The walls were covered from floor to ceiling with blinking lights and extensive graphs outlining length of stay and throughput metrics all lined up in precision format. At least ten individuals were seated at their computer screens with headsets in place and eyes fixed intently on their screens. On an opposite wall hung a poster that read, “Quiet please. We are about serious business. Care coordination in process.”

As the tour concluded and I stepped outside the room back into the main lobby where the noise level had exponentially increased as had the pace of human traffic, I gazed at the elderly women in the wheelchair waiting for the elevator with several children clinging to her arms. Her eyes met mine and she said, “Can you help me find the unit that my husband is on…I just received word that he is dying and I need to find my way there”. Together we traveled a route that we knew not but eventually found our way to the medical unit and to his bedside. Her eyes became illuminated when she saw him and the little ones immediately gathered around his bedside and grasped his hands, at which point she exclaimed, “Thank you for helping me find my way”. I replied, “And thank you for helping me find my way and recall the heart of care coordination.”

Where did your eyes linger today?

What are you noticing as “you find your way”?

What is the map that you are making for yourself?

Whom might you help to find their way today?