Chances are you’ve heard of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. But are you aware of the Platinum Rule? The Platinum Rule is a reflection of the evolution of the times: Do unto others as they would want to be done to them.
The Golden Rule is a construct developed to demonstrate how individuals should behave toward others. It encourages individuals to treat others how they would want to be treated, barring the way you want to be treated is exactly the same for everyone else. A bold assumption. A more modern take on this idea is the Platinum Rule—treating others the way they want to be treated.
As described by Dave Kerpen in his book, “The Art of People,” Kerpen explains that “When you follow the Platinum Rule, you can be sure you’re actually doing what the other person wants done and assure yourself of a better outcome.” The same tactic can be used to ensure an optimal patient experience.
Interested in learning more about how to provide a quality patient experience? Read “How to Maintain Empathy in Healthcare.”
How to Employ the Platinum Rule for a Better Patient Experience
There are three components that must be achieved for the Platinum Rule to be successful.
1. Establish a genuine relationship with the patient
How do you determine how patients want to be treated regarding their healthcare? The only way to do so is by forging a relationship with the patient. A genuine relationship between the nurse and the patient must include trust and the ability to listen.
By actively listening to the patient and his or her family, nurse leaders can relay pertinent information back to the care team. This is the best method for understanding barriers to treatment including socioeconomic, cultural, religious, familial dynamics, risk levels, etc. This new information can then be incorporated into the patient’s care plan for optimal patient outcomes and satisfaction.
2. Treat the patient as an individual
It is within your power to assure your patient’s dignity remains intact, even through very stressful periods of clinical treatment. Understand that each patient is unique and processes his or her healthcare treatment and experiences in different ways. Acknowledge the patient’s hopes, expectations, and feelings. Do you tailor your responses to each patient to assure personalized care?
According to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “Patient-oriented research should not be based on the evaluation of medical interventions in the average patient, but on the identification of the best intervention for every individual patient, the study of heterogeneity and the assignment of greater value to observations and exceptions.
3. Be a purveyor of cultural competence
Cultural competence is a critical building block for the patient experience and is an integral part of improving patient outcomes. Nurse leaders must focus on the further development of their cultural competence in order to provide care that best addresses their diverse patient populations. Applying an individual approach to advance cultural competence leads to superior performance and improved quality of care.
An academic article published by the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges states that, “Cultural competence has thus evolved from the categorical approach to an approach focusing on the development of a set of skills and a framework that allow the clinician to assess—for an individual patient—what socio-cultural factors might affect that patient’s care. Training under this approach provides clinicians with numerous skills they can use to provide better patient care.”
Additional research published by Medical Care suggests that “Hospitals with greater cultural competency have better HCAHPS scores for doctor communication, hospital rating, and hospital recommendation. Furthermore, HCAHPS scores for minorities were higher at hospitals with greater cultural competency on 4 other dimensions: nurse communication, staff responsiveness, quiet room, and pain control.”
All three of these components are tightly connected and essential to demonstrating the Platinum Rule with respect to excellence in patient experience.
As nurse leaders, the best way to improve the patient experience is to model and encourage the practice of the Platinum Rule. When nurses feel that they are cared for they, in turn, take better care of their patients and their teammates.
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Kirby Bates Associates drives healthcare organizations to achieve high quality, cost-effective patient care through our comprehensive portfolio of proven leadership services, including Executive Search, Interim Leadership, and Executive Advisory Services. As successful healthcare executives, our effective and inclusive approaches deliver sustainable solutions for our clients’ greatest leadership challenges.
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