No matter how long you study your Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores, you don't really know what it's like to be a patient in your hospital until you are one.
Thanks to a vegetable-chopping session gone awry, I recently experienced my first ER visit and, a few days later, my first out-patient surgery. This also marked my first time being a hospital patient in my adult life.
Having reported on healthcare for several years, I've always been on the lookout for the marketing director's touch in whatever hospital I'm in while visiting ill friends and family members.
Things like unclear directional signage, new flatscreen TVs, and internal marketing efforts always stood out to me. But as a patient, I suddenly regarded the care experience through a whole new perspective.
And it's one I don't think any survey could capture.