04/19/2021– Bingham Healthcare Ladder of Priorities

04/19/2021– Bingham Healthcare Ladder of Priorities

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.

III. Bingham Healthcare Ladder of Priorities

The Ladder of Priorities is a model that we can use to guide our daily decisions at Bingham. This model is meant to position our attention on the things that are most important and by so doing, affect our actions.

Priority Number 1: Safety

Our highest priority is the safety of our patients, guests, and staff. This priority is summarized in HQ of HQHC. High quality care means highly competent care, and highly competent care is safe care. Safety is #1. When faced with a difficult situation, if you choose safety above all else, you won’t go wrong.

Priority Number 2: Compassionate Service

Many people might think that efficiency should be the second priority. We believe strongly that Compassionate Service comes second only to safety. When you are faced with a conflict between service and efficiency, it is always better to put service ahead of efficiency.

Priority Number 3: Impression

The third priority is impression. While Safety and Service are pretty clear in their definitions, impression is more abstract. Impression refers to anything that affects the perception of our patients and visitors. This includes what we do and how we do it as well as what we say and how we say it.

Priority Number 4: Efficiency

As with any work, there is a job to be done. Doing it efficiently is important to the success of our organization. Efficiency may be the lowest rung on the ladder, but it is still a rung and is therefore important to consider in your daily work.

This is a model that can be referenced when faced with the difficult situations or decisions we must make every day. When evaluating your next step, compare your decision against the ladder of priorities. Sometimes, we justify a variance from a safety protocol in the name of patient experience. Yet, you’ll note that safety is a higher priority than patient experience. Likewise, we might be tempted to compromise the first three priorities for the “faster” way to do something. The hierarchy of the rungs is significant—each implying a higher level of priority over the other. The best decisions are reached when each priority is considered and met, as far as it is possible to meet them.

Consider this story submitted by Jodi Later about Amanda Dance, a former phlebotomist, who worked in the laboratory:

I witnessed an encounter between Amanda Dance, one of our phlebotomists, and a patient that was an excellent example of high quality and high compassion. An elderly patient came to the lab about 4:00 p.m. She had been at Dr. Wehrle's office and they were unable to get a blood sample from her so they sent her to the hospital lab to get her blood drawn. The lab was very busy at the time, as 4:00 p.m. is always a busy time. Despite being busy, Amanda took the time to visit with her while she drew her blood. During the blood draw, the frail patient expressed that she was nervous about crossing the street to get back to her car. She had parked by the MOB. She said that the street had been slick, and she had been scared to come over to the hospital and now was scared to go back across the street. After completing the blood draw, Amanda took this patient by the arm and walked her all the way to her car and made sure she was safely in her car. Because of how busy we were, it would have been easy to draw this patient's blood and send her on her way without even knowing her concerns. But because Amanda took the time to visit with her, she found out what her concerns were and then acted on them and made sure this patient was safe.

In this story, Amanda considered the safety of the patient first. She also provided a high level of service and compassion by providing the extra help to her car. The impression made on the patient and those who witnessed the service was positive. The only priority that suffered here was efficiency, which appropriately gave way for the three higher priorities.

How can you apply the ladder of priorities to your everyday interactions and decision making?


Choose a scenario you face on a regular basis during your work week. Describe what action you typically take in that scenario. Compare that action against the ladder of priorities. Share your thoughts here: and be entered to win an $100 Amazon gift card.