My son recently watched a National Geographic television program on the use of very high-speed photography. The first part of the program described the use of high-speed photography to evaluate efficiency of NASCAR pit crews. The attention to detail is extraordinary. NASCAR racing, according the program, is a race against time. Richard Childress Racing, a very successful racing team, uses high-speed photography to improve their pit crew performance.
Matt Clark, pit crew coach and director of human performance and leadership development at Childress Racing analyzes the slow motion footage to look at details as minimal as pit crew members’ foot placement, air drill angle, and anything else he can find to help shave time off pit stops, improve efficiency and get an edge.
Then comes the follow up, paying particular attention to the people on the team. The equipment has already been optimized; now they have to optimize the people. Individualized training is done to make each person the best member of the team possible.
While this NatGeo program may not have been designed to be a story about patient satisfaction in the office, it certainly offers lessons. Medical care is at least as important as NASCAR. And like NASCAR, great medical care is a team effort, one for which each individual team member is a critical part. Every medical office ought to have a director of human performance and leadership development, working to identify at every step of patients’ experiences how the process of care can be enhanced. And just as critically, attention should be paid to the development of each member of the health care team, training them to provide patients a personal, caring medical visit.