Institutional Experience at Memorial Sloan Kettering
My mother was admitted at the Sloan Memorial Institute in New York few months ago with a relapse of #lymphoma cancer. Upon investigation, we gathered that she also had leukemia and now we were dealing with two different types of cancers. This particular combination is indeed a very rare type and made it more difficult for doctors to decide on protocol and the line of treatment.
We were advised that she moves to the leukaemia team from the lymphoma team of doctors. I was a bit taken a back with this statement and wondered in my mind, shift to a different team? We are at the Sloan right ! So move her where?
Then I learned that there are 16 different floors at Sloan and each floor specialises with different types of cancer. It’s not just the doctors that change, but also the entire team including nurses and supervisors. Moving my mother from one floor to another floor within Sloan , was like moving her to a set of specialist who had complete understanding of leukemia. Also, there were many others who had the same ailment like her and thus a common protocol of all precautions which we had to follow for people whose immunity was compromised .
What amazing was to see how the entire system operated. The #leukemia team were lead by certain set of doctors and did their homework to understand the patient in totality. They asked me if I was carrying any reports of my mothers, which I said yes I do, but they said ” Mr. Nanda we need reports of your mother for the last forty years! ” I wondered, forty years? ” We also would like to speak with all her doctors in India and understand everything we can about her health” I asked why forty years? And why the need to speak with Indian doctors? They responded ” We will put your mother through some of the most toxic #chemotherapy and before we start her treatment, we want to understand everything we possibly can !! The last thing we want to do is to call India when things go wrong and we rather know what we must now.”
Over the next five days, a set of four doctors were put to task to gather this information and they worked 24 hrs, due to time difference and speaking with the Indian doctors and summarised it in just four pages. Once this was done, her main doctor came and told me ” I am ready to meet your mom and start her treatment ”
The experience from #Sloan are lessons of a life time for me! An experience of a world class culture which insures respect for both research and care for human life.
This experience once again reinforces in mind that an organisation mission is simply to build a culture that bring out extra ordinary care towards the customer or a patient in this case. The culture backed by strong processes and systems.
The mistakes that few hospitals or companies do are to make the organisation focus on them , instead on customers.
Let this be lessons for us to incorporate a culture, which builds a character of an organisation and not just on few individuals…
May God give all good health and peace!