Making a small difference
This past spring I spent a lot of time at the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI), Newcastle’s major hospital. I wasn’t an inpatient but I had to go there several times for tests and discussions because they suspected a problem. (Don’t worry; it turned out to be nothing. Truly.) Some of it was a bit of an ordeal (I have an exceedingly low threshold of pain), but one woman in the clinic was so understanding and empathetic that she made it all almost bearable. As I was leaving one day, I noticed a sign in the lobby urging people to nominate for a “Personal Touch Award” any employee who had provided care “at its very best – with a personal touch”. The sign listed a specific address on the hospital’s website but I didn’t want to take the time to take it down, figuring that I’d just go to the home page and find it from there.
Well, finding it was NOT easy! I finally managed, though, and put in my nomination. The next time I went in I found the patient/customer service representative, told her my story, and suggested that they put a link to this nomination form on the hospital’s home page. She said it made sense and she’d talk to the IT folks about it. Then I went to my appointment and thought no more about it.
This evening I was looking around for some examples of websites I could use in a couple of upcoming presentations (including a class I’m teaching in two weeks on information architecture), and I decided to take a screen shot of the Newcastle Hospitals’ home page. Well, when when I loaded the page I got a wonderful surprise: In the upper right corner, very visible, sat the logo and link to the Personal Touch Award. Gave me the warm fuzzies, it did. (Note: The image I’ve posted is a small part of the home page. Don’t worry — the award bit doesn’t occupy a third of the page! :-)
Sometimes all you have to do is ask, and explain why. Sometimes, people really do listen.