Great Expectations


“Believe the unbelievable, receive the inconceivable, and see beyond my wildest imagination, Lord I’ve come with great expectation!” Great Expectations—Steven Curtis Chapman

As a new year begins, I suspect almost everyone has expectations. From a thread of hope for a lonely soul, to an anchor of hope secured by strong family ties, it’s a time when we can look ahead at what may be in store. With great expectations we can look ahead to what may be on our personal horizon. Each of us has daily expectations that become so routine that we barely acknowledge them unless there is a disruption. Disruptions that can impact our wellbeing, our security, our outlook on life, and our relationships with others.

Consider those who come through your doors. What are their expectations? The reality of that question is a potential topic for multiple in-services, but let’s come back to that later. For now, let’s consider it as it relates to their visit at your clinic.  What do patients expect when they step through your door?

WOW…that list alone is lengthy isn’t it?

Acceptance, confidentiality, evidence, genuineness, interested listener, knowledgeable support, manageable instructions, openness, quick response, sincerity, understanding, willingness to accept, and a youthful approach just to list an alphabet of expectations. How can your team possibly reach each individual expectation?

Our answer: ask. Find out the patient’s greatest need.

Outlining the patient’s expectations for the visit goes a long way. There are the simple things to establish: how long is the visit, is there just one visit, how long will my support person be waiting, when will I find out results of the day, what will my visit look like, and what will I be expected to do? All of these things seem obvious enough. They seem like common expectations for a clinic visit. Our findings show that many of these things are not clear to patients served in the PMC. Many experience variables due to the fact that the PMC has room to improve in this area.

If it interests you to find out if your patients expectations are being addressed—ask. On your patient satisfaction survey, be specific.  Find out by asking two bonus type questions that you’ll ask for a specific amount of time (one month, 4 months, etc). A list of such optional questions can help you build a plan to improve in this specific area.

We have listed a sample of such questions are below:

  1. Was your expectation of the visit to our clinic met?
  1. Were you given an opportunity to outline your expectation of your time with us?
  1. Did anyone outline the visit to you?
  1. What one word would best describe your expectation of our services?

Professional                Clear                Private                 Caring

Accurate                      Confusing        Complete            Fair

Judgmental                 Open                 Sincere                Manageable

Concise                        Defined           Overwhelming    Beneficial

As the song by Steven Curtis Chapman, “Great Expectations” states, we want to support our patients in…”believing the unbelievable, receiving the inconceivable, and seeing beyond their wildest imagination.” They’ve come with great expectations to have those expectations addressed as best we can. Finding out the patient’s expectation(s) can position us to strengthen our policies and procedures, increase patient satisfaction, provide improved patient care, and develop valuable talking points for the leadership, as well as all of the PMC team.

As Sparrow Solutions Group ends our first month of 2017, we are believing in Him, receiving His provision, and looking expectantly to see beyond our wildest imaginings for our organization.


Connie Ambrecht
Sparrow Solutions Group Founder & CEO


Linear Shared Decision Making: Patient-Owned, Solutions-Driven, Consistent Care


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