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Roddey Gettys
Chief Operating Officer,
Palmetto Health
Baptist Easley (SC)

Palmetto Health Baptist Easley employees follow three rules: Treat others as you would like to be treated, have fun, and "10-5." Chief Operating Officer Roddey Gettys explains his 10-5 rule, which he implemented three years ago, and its effect on patients and staff at the 75-staffed-bed hospital.

Gettys: At 10 feet, you make eye contact. At 5 feet, you say something: "Good morning, nice to see you, can I help?" It's all about helping patients and families feel comfortable in a relaxed atmosphere where it appears that people get along and are open and courteous. When people come to the hospital, they are afraid for their lives, afraid for their family members' lives--they are tense. What better situation can they walk into than a smile and a warm hello and a "May I help you?"

I just got a letter from a Methodist minister who lives 40 miles away and was visiting members of his church in this hospital. One of his members told him, "Never have we received such warm, courteous care."

Employees expressed more than once that they wanted our workplace to be friendlier--they wanted to work at a place that's fun. How much more fun can it be than if you like the people you work with? If you're speaking to people, you've got half the battle won. Does my 10-5 rule make a difference? I think so. Our turnover rate is down below 10% from 18%. Our patient satisfaction scores are through the roof. The message is, we are glad to see you and we're going to take very good care of you.

-Molly Rowe

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