Q&A: Everyday Healthcare Hero Explains Why Patient Satisfaction Is More Important Than Ever
We’ve all been there: 10 inches of snow on the ground, an expanse of highway as far as the eye can see, and, of course, you need to be at the office in an hour. Main Line Health nurse manager Loredana Mercogliano found herself in this very situation last winter. With a bevy of patients and a staff of nurses relying on her, Mercogliano can’t worry about her commute (one hour each way!) or inclement weather. So, whether it’s to combat a blizzard or simply to be on hand to provide top-notch healthcare, she trusts Subaru to be reliable when it matters most.
Here, this everyday healthcare hero divulges her day-to-day challenges, triumphs and how her Subaru makes life easier.
What is your position at Main Line Health? What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
I am the nurse manager for 14 beds, cardiothoracic intensive care unit and a 13-bed cardiothoracic step-bound unit as well as an eight-bed concierge suite manager. My day-to-day work entails ensuring that our patients are appropriately cared for by looking at appropriate staffing and if the unit flow is adequate for the operation room, discharges, patients transferring in and out and ensuring the safety of patients and staff in line with the company’s mission and vision.
What is your favorite part of your position?
Honestly, my favorite part is actually being with the patients and staff. That’s what I love the most. I am still a hands-on manager. I love critical care. I will answer calls; I will assist with patient care. I love having dialogue with patients and their families. I like speaking with my staff, engaging in conversations and educating them and supporting them. That’s what I like.
What’s the most exciting change you’ve noticed during your career in the medical field?
From a nursing perspective, I believe that nurses are becoming much more autonomous. In my unit specifically, there is a lot of interaction with the surgeons and our physician assistants and nurse practitioners. We’re constantly dialoguing and assessing our patients and the care that we’re delivering. I love the fact that this nursing staff is very autonomous. They will speak up for patients. They will discuss the best plan of care for our patients.
What also comes to mind is the overall patient experience. The focus at Main Line Health is delivering a superior patient experience. I say to my staff all the time: “I want you to care for our patients as you would you and your family to be cared for.” It’s no longer just getting coming in and getting a surgery or lab tests. It’s about how we make you feel as a person and a patient and to making sure we’re supporting you psychologically, emotionally, and physically. These patients are very nervous and it helps to support them.
Another thing I think is important and I see it changing aggressively and I think it scares a lot of healthcare providers, but it’s healthcare costs. Nationally, we need to look at that and support our people and support them as they get older and as we get older and spend our money smartly.
As an insider in the healthcare industry, what’s one thing you wish people knew about Main Line Health?
I would really love our patients to know — I think they observe this in our day-to-day delivery of care — but I would love for them to know that we really care about them as an individual person and not just as a patient, not just physically but emotionally. Also, I would love for them to all know—and I know that there is information out there — but we have Magnet designation. I want them to know that they are at a Beacon Award for Excellence-winning unit. It’s an award recognizing us for exceptional care and it also shows that we have a supportive work environment and we have collaborative work environment. It identifies us as a system that recognizes that we are the top of our game.
What’s the most challenging part of your job and how do you manage it?
Everyone is aware that there is a national nursing shortage and that’s not a secret, but I am very fortunate to say that I have an extremely engaged staff and they are willing to adjust their schedules to meet the needs of their patients and their teammates. They are a very strong team. They will support each other. It happened today; we were getting a transfer in from another facility and they asked if anyone was interested in adjusting their schedule and within seconds, I had someone stand up and say: “If the team needs me, I’ll stay.”
What model Subaru do you drive and how has it made your life easier?
I drive a Subaru Legacy and I absolutely love my car. I purchased it in November 2009.
I have an hour drive each way to work—two hours a day, every day I come to work. It gets me here safely. When I get into my car, I never worry whether it’s going to be functional, whether it will get to my destination safely. I don’t even think about it. It’s a wonderful ride.
It pertains to my day-to-day work here because I never have to worry about whether I will be able to get here to care for my patients. With all the things I have to worry about, I never have to worry about my car.
Has there been a moment where your career in healthcare and being an owner of a Subaru has intersected?
This past winter, there were many snow, ice, and sleet experiences that we had. I recall driving home one evening, and there was an inch or two inch of coarse ice on the road and not once did this car falter. I’ll tell you, it was scary. It was a scary ride home. This car did not fail me at all. It got me home safely. It was a relief to drive this car and knowing I was safe.
I would be not right if I did not add that I absolutely love John Kennedy Subaru dealership. Fabulous. Chuck is the guy. They deliver superior customer care.
Fill in the blank: _______is the next big thing in healthcare.
I think that the patient experience is becoming increasingly important. At Main Line Health, we strive to meet our mission for superior patient experience for anyone that comes to us. And that’s reflected in Medicare. For reimbursement, Medicare is looking at the patient experience, so that is a big focus for everyone at a national level. Main Line Health has always had this, so this isn’t new for us, but that is the big change in healthcare today.
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