Sorry Works!

Sorry Works! Blog

Making Disclosure A Reality For Healthcare Organizations 

Five-Star and Your ER Waiting Room

Mon, May 7, 2012

Five Star and Your ER Waiting Room

From time to time over the last two years, Sorry Works! has sent e-newsletters and performed presentations on Five-Star Customer Service.  We are recommitting ourselves to this effort.  We have an entire series of links at our new website dedicated to this topic – see here.

You most definitely need Five-Star with the advent of Value Based Purchasing, but also because Five-Star gets into your risk picture.  Five-Star helps you build great relationship pre-event that are capable of surviving an adverse event, which reduces litigation and your risk exposure.  The Sorry Works! talk on Five-Star is great for Grand Rounds and other presentations to staff --- for more information visit this link or call 618-559-8168 or e-mail

This week’s Five-Star Tip: Your Emergency Room Waiting Area.

A couple weeks ago, I had to take a good friend to the ER.  He was experiencing horrible chest pains – fortunately, everything is OK.  The care was top notch, and all is well.   However, I have an experience to share about the waiting room and Five-Star customer service, or lack thereof.

So, I get my friend to the ER, they quickly wisked him away to the doctor and told me to sit in the waiting room.  What do I see and hear?   A family is huddled in one corner, softly crying and consoling each other…. someone is getting ready to die.  Other side of the room sits a concerned-looking young couple, Dad holding a sick little girl.  Three seats down is a fellow holding an ice bag to his head, looking miserable.  There was another fellow pacing in a different corner...I couldn't figure out his story.  Of course, there was me...worried and concerned for my friend.    And what was on the wall...two HUGE, wide-screen TVs with the sound JACKED UP.  A Seinfeld re-run was playing on one set, and some reality dating show on the other tube...and it wasn't even a good reality dating show like Bachelor or Bachelorette, but, instead, some cheap Cable TV knock off!!

The TVs blared away, cancelling each other out...and the family continued crying, the young couple looking more and more concerned, the guy with the ice bag more miserable looking, and me and the random guy in the corner kept pacing.  No one was watching the stupid TVs, but there was no escaping them!  I'm dead certain that family will forever remember that they cried their first tears for Grandma with Seinfield blaring in the background.  Un..for...givable!

Think about it...the ER is often the first interface many people have with your organization.  It is the place where they start to rate the quality of your care, and decide whether or not they want to have a good relationship with you...the kind of relationship that can survive an adverse event.  Get rid of the stupid TVs (no one is watching them), pipe in some calming music (jazz or classical, but not cheesy elevator music!), put some decent paint on the walls, current magazines on the tables, appropriate toys for kids that are cleaned regularly, and make sure the Wi-Fi works.  Welcome us like you would to your own home!

For more information on Five-Star, call 618-559-8168 or



DougWojcieszak,  Founder, Sorry Works!