By Cailey Ryckman, Finance and Accountinghospitalculture250

We have a unique company culture here at Patientco. Like most young technology companies, we’re a little more informal than you might be used to. We like to have fun. We like to push ourselves and each other. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. We always work to improve our company, our clients, and ourselves. Oh, and sometimes we shoot each other with Nerf guns (you have to relieve stress somehow, right?)

The most valuable cultural distinction at Patientco though, is the connection that we all share. There are close connections between management and staff, between departments, among co-workers, between work and family, and with our clients. For us, it’s personal. Instead of widening the gap between work and family, friend and colleague, vendor and client, we’re closing it.

This isn’t just lip service either. We celebrate birthdays and big accomplishments. We dive in to help other departments accomplish their goals. We raise money for our clients’ charitable causes. We respect each other’s need for personal and family time. The list goes on, but in short, we care.

This web of personal connection drives Patientco every day, it inspires us, makes us excited to show up to work, and drives remarkable results for our clients. Strip away everything else and you are left with the core of Patientco: connection.

In his book Linchpin, Seth Godin expounds on this simple idea:

They key point of distinction between places to work is rarely the work you’ll be asking the employee to do. It’s the perceived connection between the employee and the people she works with… This isn’t about recording the information in a database somewhere. This is about holding the relationships as sacred as they deserve to be. Only a human being can nurture relationships. It has to be done with flair and transparency, and it can’t be done from a script.

In the same way, your hospital or practice requires connection, not only to survive, but also thrive. You have to start with your employees, because they are the face of the organization. Show them compassion, show them that you care, and connect with them.

Your employees will, in turn, connect with your patients. In something as intimate as healthcare, a true personal connection goes a long way. On the examination table, take that little bit of extra time to talk to them as humans instead of analyzing them as numbers on a chart. When you discuss with patients the billing process, talk to them as people, not as uncollected revenue. Yes, Mrs. Jones owes $428.17, but she is more than that number. She is a mother trying to get her kids to football practice in time, a wife who is concerned about her husband’s failing health, and a daughter who just had to commit her parents to a nursing home. Connection breeds reciprocity.

If you take the time to make her feel special and build that relationship from the moment of first contact all the way through the last payment paid, Mrs. Jones will connect right back and that connection creates a better world for everyone involved.