• Cardiology Patient Stories

    Our organizational heart is our competitive advantage

In late 2009, Mayo Clinic was named an America's Best Hospital by U.S. News & World Report. Patients who were surveyed said Mayo's nursing staff in Phoenix, Arizona, "always listen carefully, give clear explanations and are courteous."

Barbara, a registered nurse at Mayo's hospital in Phoenix, shares her perspective on our competitive advantage below:

Following a recent Phoenix Coyotes game, my husband and I were waiting in line for a table at a restaurant close to the hockey arena. An elderly couple, Bill and Elaine, sat down next to us at the bar. During our conversation, we learned that they were from Winnipeg and have spent each winter in Phoenix for more than a decade. When I asked why they chose Arizona, Bill quickly responded, "Mayo Clinic." Elaine smiled and added, "… and the hockey." And ever since their team relocated to Phoenix, they've made it a point to never miss a "home game."

It was during the winter of 1999 that Elaine began having chest discomfort during the games. It turns out that she, like myself, is a loyal fan who takes her hockey seriously.

A friend told them about a local Mayo Clinic primary care office and Elaine made an appointment since the "discomfort had become more bothersome." After an EKG was done, the doctor called an ambulance and sent her immediately to the emergency department — she was having a heart attack.

They both expressed gratitude for Mayo Clinic and the care provided there. Bill remembered, "those were some of the smartest, kindest people I’ve ever met … they saved my bride. We’ll never go anywhere else." At that moment my husband got a page – our table was ready. We said our good-byes and shared good wishes for our hockey team that brought us together that evening.

Fan loyalty. Not easy to earn and even harder to sustain. Yet once your heart is engaged, loyalty will propel you thousands of miles outside your comfort zone. Your priorities shift and you keep coming back for more. Bill and Elaine are only two of Mayo Clinic’s loyal fans among millions across the globe.

Recently, through a satisfaction survey, patients named Mayo Clinic, the top hospital for nursing care in U.S. News and World Report's America’s Best Hospitals ranking. Mayo Clinic Hospital shines and carries on the tradition founded by the Mayo family over a century ago: the needs of the patient are the only needs to be considered. A cornerstone that guides our decision-making is "business as usual." Among the many honors and accolades received by our organization by peers or colleagues, this distinction demonstrates that patients feel that they are our priority.

It is often a smile, a hand on the shoulder or the shared tears of our compassionate staff members that patients and their loved ones remember long after they have left us. In our inherently stressful, emotionally charged environment, often it's not what patients hear us say, but how they feel when they're in our presence. They can sense our dedication and caring as we support them on their healing journey. In my opinion, it's our "organizational heart" that sets us apart from our counterparts.

As patients of Mayo Clinic, my husband and I have consistently received quality care delivered by professionals who serve as exceptional ambassadors of the Mayo Clinic name. We're grateful to each staff member who has cared for us over the years. And we agree with Bill and Elaine – "we’ll never go anywhere else." In the same way, I've worked in several hospitals during my 25-year R.N. career and realize that work relationships are crucial to job satisfaction and retention. I feel privileged to be part of a team of professionals — a family, who offers our patients innovative, evidence-based health care while always keeping in mind the art and heart, of healing.

To learn more about the rankings of our Arizona, Minnesota and Florida locations, visit the U.S. News & World Report web site.

This post was submitted by Phyllis Y. (Yvette) Martin, a recruitment strategist in human resources, Mayo Clinic, Arizona.

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