2 rules to live by

stasera, fatevi curare da loro

stasera, fatevi curare da loro (Photo credit: sisagitta)

When I worked at the local hospital’s x-ray department, I set two rules for myself and my work. These rules were my own and not imposed on me by the hospital. The first rule was the golden rule; I treated all my patients as I would want to be treated if our roles had been reversed.

The second rule was the 5-minute rule, more of a goal. I tried to respond to every order from a doctor in the ER within 5 minutes. For the simpler exams, that was 5 minutes from the time the order printed until I had taken the x-rays and completed the paper work. Five minutes, start to finish. More complex orders naturally took longer. With a recent change in equipment, I found that 5 minutes was no longer possible; it took 7 minutes instead.

The result of my two rules was that patients were happy with the quick service and care I gave them and the doctors in the ER loved the fast response. So did my supervisor.

If Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee in the fall, I expect that he will adopt a version of my 5-minute rule. The time period in his rule may 24 hours or a week or a month, but he will spend a significant part of the campaign invoking his version of the 5-minute rule as follows. “That was my position yesterday, but my position today is such and such.”