I have often thought of the learnings we in healthcare could garner from the world of animal care (veterinary care).
From the very granular operational improvement such as reminder calls to the actual caring model itself which often includes deep hard discussions in a safe space and safe place with little judgement, much love, and keen focus on what is truly best for the patient (our beloved animal).
Talk about healthCARING.
In fact, years ago, I was offered a CEO role at a large animal hospital, and having both a strong love for animals and having seen the opportunity to share best practices (and again learnings) from one caring world in order to benefit the other (and vice versa), even considered accepting the role.
And today the following quotes from a terrific non-fiction book (see below) refreshed the call in my heart to transcend both caring worlds for the betterment of all. (Ideally creating one caring world).
Two examples of the intersection of veterinary care and health care from the book …
“Rachael Kleidon is our veterinarian, and the most luminous soul I know. She was always there for Will [elder dog] and made concessions that allowed me to see him through to his final mountaintop in the way I envisioned. I wish that all of us could have a doctor this empathetic.”
“Throughout my lengthy [hospital] stay, he [Roy Prescott] was there whenever he could be, bringing Atticus [beloved mini Schnauzer] in for visits when the doctors bent the rules to allow it.”
So many lenses to consider. For now, just a few:
– The importance of doctors (and nurses) sharing empathy with patients (relationship centered care). So often this empathy is tangible in the veterinary world. In healthcare, we can do much to further create systems which allow for this sharing.
– The importance of breaking down barriers between the love of patients & their families and their beloved animal when they need them most (in the hospital and throughout the healing (or dying) journey).
– The importance of adopting elder animals and the impact of doing so has on both the animal and on the person (and family).
Yes, LOVE truly heals. And as leaders we can do much to bring more LOVE into all we do for patients & families, for animals, and for one another and our communities.
In fact, we can widen the intersection (and thus close the gap) between veterinary care and health care when we love and align our hearts and minds to improvement possibilities within each.
And yes, there is so much we can learn when we open our hearts and minds to all the goodness in all realms before us.