After visiting his mother in a hospital in France, Gueris came home, and worked with the staff to videotape them in the playacting. After initially expressing concern, "they came on board and loved it," he says. The video was important because it allowed the housekeepers to see themselves in action. Some realized that, yes, they did have a smirk or a frown, and that, no, they didn't make eye contact like they thought they did.
Nancy Carlson, the CEO of Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, says she would stop by and marvel at the change in behaviors and attitudes among housekeeping staff. While Gueris has a heavy French accent, most of the housekeepers spoke Spanish. "They were afraid of interacting with patients and had no confidence in their ability to communicate," Carlson says. "They went to clean the room, and he saw this as an opportunity to help us with our patient experience. They've really taken off with this."
Carlson says she's thinking about extending the program that Gueris started to other parts of the hospital.
Gueris says he's thankful about the turnaround for the hospital staff and the patient satisfaction scores. Mostly, the idea is to help patients. "You don't come to the hospital by choice," Gueris says. "I've been a patient, and it's a very scary experience."