Last week my wife had minor surgery.  (She’s fine.  Thank you for being concerned.)  Just three days after the surgery she received a thank you card from the hospital.  The card came signed from Phyllis Austin, Director of Surgical Services, thanking us for choosingMissouriBaptistMedicalCenter.  Also on the card were handwritten notes from two of the nurses and from several people on her “OR team.”   Thankfully, I haven’t been in the hospital often, but the few times I have I don’t ever remember getting a thank you note.


MissouriBaptistMedicalCenterwants patients.  They are in a competitive environment and patients have choices.  They’ve adopted a vision that says, “Through our exceptional people, we deliver extraordinary care.  Your health is important to us and your well-being is our priority, even after your return home.”  Isn’t that the kind of hospital you would want to go to if you were sick? 


Now, can they back it up?  They did.  They did what was expected.  They did what hospitals do.  We went through the admission process, then preparation for the surgery, then recovery – and everything went smoothly.  The people were very nice, but shouldn’t they be?  Then came the little something extra: the thank you note.  To us, it didn’t just say thank you.  It said that they appreciated us, they cared about us and that we were special.  It wasn’t a hospital taking care of a patient.  It was people taking care of a patient.


The famous actor and comedian Robin Williams once portrayed Patch Adams in a movie of the same name.  One of the lines from this movie summed up what I’m trying to say.  And by the way, you don’t have to work at a hospital for this to apply to you.  He said…


“You treat a disease; you win, you lose.  You treat a person; I’ll guarantee you’ll win.”



Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email:  Web: For information on customer service training, go to

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