Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center uses a little green lizard to remind staff to focus on the patient.
What’s green, weighs only a few ounces and is about 9 inches in length? A lizard. And this particular lizard goes by the name Lenny and he travels throughout Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center in a patient gown, boxers and a specially-designed carrying basket.
Lenny is a used to educate hospital staff about customer-focused service. The idea being that just like lizards that shed their old skin in order to grow, staff must shed old ideas and embrace new concepts in order to provide excellent customer service.
The concept of using a lizard to represent change was first introduced to a Sentara nursing leadership team (nurse managers, dept. directors, vice presidents patient care services) at a semiannual leadership conference. Kathy Dempsey, is the author of the book Shed or You’re Dead™: 31 Unconventional Strategies for Growth and Change. Dempsey helps organizations “shed” whatever is holding them back and ignites groups to imagine the possibilities. Each nurse leadership team was challenged to use the lizard concept at their individual facilities. At Sentara Williamsburg, the team huddled and came up with the idea of turning the lizard into a patient and using him to focus on the patient.
Lenny is used as a visual reminder during staff meetings to always think of the customer. Instead of doing things the same way we’ve always done, he challenges staff to think of alternatives ways to meet customer’s needs. The staff at Sentara Williamsburg has even taken the Lenny concept a step farther by creating a life-sized lizard costume and visiting meetings to demonstrate the idea of changing attitudes.
Customer satisfaction is a cornerstone of service at Sentara. Every employee is dedicated to achieving exceptional customer service every day.
Thanks to the creative staff at Sentara Williamsburg, they’ve been able to turn a little green lizard into an icon. Lenny continues to be a fun reminder of how we can work together to improve service to all of our customers.
How do you deal with change? Embrace it, fight it, deal with it? Submit a comment to Sentara Today and let us know.
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