When I asked Alpa Vyas, Stanford Health Care's vice president for patient experience, about the impact of her mother's death from cancer, she stops for a moment to gather a breath.
It was probably the most influential moment as a health care professional. Even as somebody who knew the system really well, and understood all the complexities, you were still very vulnerable and so was she... Anytime I see a patient, I always imagine that that's somebody's mother.
In this 1:2:1 podcast, I talked with Vyas about what she learns from talking and meeting with patients on a daily basis. She knew right away:
What I have found is if patients or family have an issue, having someone listen is often the very thing that they want. They want somebody to hear them out, and then alternatively, they don't want it to happen to somebody else.
With the doors open and the new hospital taking patients, she told me that she's a broken record when it comes to a singular message she often repeats:
It's a beautiful building, but the interactions have to match. The services that we deliver have to match the majesty of the building... but I think that's one we're definitely up for.
Photo of Alpa Vyas and Rajiv Ramdeo by Steve Fisch