What’s your opening act?

Who is opening for you?

Late night talk shows have a person dedicated to warming-up the crowd before Conan, Dave, Jay, or Jimmy start the monologue.  Headlining bands around the world do the same thing when they utilize opening bands during live concerts.

First impressions matter, a lot.  First impressions matter in a job interview.  First impressions matter on a first date.  Even magazines pay attention to first impressions.

This is important in our hospitals, too.  The unhappy (or even just blah!) person at the registration desk sets the tone for the rest of my visit.  Driving around a complex medical campus, frustrated, just trying to find where I am supposed to go starts my visit down the wrong path.  The volunteer that greets me with a smile as I walk in the door could make all of the difference.  The cleanliness of the hospital’s grounds and facilities, the serene water piece near the entrance, the amount of paperwork I have to fill out before my visit, the amount of time I wait before seeing a provider, all matter.  The list could go on.

First impressions are so fragile–it truly takes so little to make a good one (or to go horrendously awry).  A hospital can manage a patient’s experience.  Setting the tone that this hospital is different, that this hospital truly cares about about the patient, can make all the difference.

Who is opening for you, more importantly what’s your opening act?