HQHC 03/15/2021– The Mother Test

I. Report of Goals

Before getting into this week’s topic, take a moment and report on your department goal(s).

II. Success Stories

Take a moment to share one or two brief success stories of Meaningful Encounters with patients or guests. We encourage you to look for meaningful encounters each day.

III. The Mother Test

Have you ever referred a family member or friend to a restaurant, movie, or some other thing only to learn that their experience was awful?

How did you feel when you learned your friend’s experience was poor?

Did you know that over 25% of all new patients who come to Bingham for care, come to us because of a recommendation from a family member or friend? Another 51% come to us because of a recommendation from a referring physician. That is over 75% of all new patients to our system who come to us because of the recommendation of another person.

What kind of trust is inherent in a referral of a family member or friend to a healthcare provider? How is a recommendation to a healthcare provider different than a recommendation to a restaurant?

There is a tremendous amount of trust inherent in a recommendation to a healthcare provider. In the coming weeks, we will be covering the topic of systems theory. Briefly stated, systems theory has to do with how one system (team/individual) relates to and impacts another system, within a larger system. How you do your job, whatever it may be, plays a part in determining whether or not that family member or friend who was referred to us has a positive experience.

At Bingham, we sum up how we want our patients to be treated by saying, “The Mother Test.” Does every patient receive from every caregiver the kind of love and care we would give to our Mothers? This is the Mother Test.

We should ask ourselves often, “Am I providing the type of care or service I would want for my own mother?” Additionally, we should ask, “Do I trust my coworkers enough to refer my own mother here for care?” Even if you are estranged from your mother, you can replace that person with someone else in your life that you care deeply about.

So, go ahead, ask yourself: Would I refer my mother to (fill in the blank) at Bingham Healthcare? Do I trust my coworkers enough to refer my own mother to Bingham Healthcare for care?

If we can answer yes to these two questions, then we are passing the Mother Test. If we cannot answer yes to these two questions, then we need to reevaluate ourselves and seek to improve our processes.

As a team, discuss what would need to be done to pass/continue to pass the Mother Test.

The Mother Test can also be applied in the way we view patients. Nearly all of us are protective and concerned about our mothers. When we are able to view patients in this way and treat them as if they were our own mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, or friend, then we begin to embrace the principle that is at the heart of the Mother Test.

How does our perspective change when we view patients as if they were our family or friends? How does this affect the way you treat our patients? What can you do to consistently view patients in this way?


Take the questionnaire found here: Help us know where we stand on the Mother Test. After taking the questionnaire, you’ll be asked to share your name and email address. This is optional and will only be used to enter your name in a drawing for a new Cutter and Buck laptop bag.