A friend showed us pictures of her mom when she was a younger woman. These portraits were brought into the hospital room where her mother was staying after a fall which required medical attention. In doing this, my friend hoped the hospital staff would come to know and appreciate how special and vibrant her mom is now and was as a younger person.
Many of the daughter’s heath care provider friends had positive things to say about this:
“As a CNA, I personally think that this is brilliant. The daily grind gets to us, and we tend to forget that these older souls used to be young like us. I wish more family members would do this.”
“It’s the truth. Between bathing, toileting, feeding, and everything else for between 8-15 people in 8 hours, caregivers forget that these people are people, too… Reminders such as this can be a great way to bond with the resident and give the caregiver a gentle reminder of the humanity that they are in care of.”
This story made me recall a passage in Daniel Pink’s To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others. Perhaps the most mundane physician’s role is that of the radiologist. Radiologists exist in lonely professional lives. They sit in semi-darkened rooms staring at X-rays, CT scans and MRIs all shift long. These professionals have little, if any social or personal interaction with their patients or other personnel. This isolation can dull the interest of the most diligent of these doctors and can diminish their actual performance.
How can we be better?
One astute radiologist in residency decided to try something different to get his fellow docs to perform with more gusto. Without the knowledge of his colleagues he attached a picture of about 300 patients to their x-ray or CT that the radiologist was viewing. In addition, there was a control group that had no pictures of the patients. The radiologists who had the benefit of the pictures reported a certain raised empathy with the patients. They also tended to be more meticulous in their examination of the scan with accompanying picture.
That isn’t the best part
Outstanding radiologists are identified by their ability to identify what are called “incidental findings”. These are items that the physician is not looking for and discovers such as a tumor or cyst while looking at a fracture. The doctor’s initial purpose was to determine the intensity of the bone break but then identifies an ailment which might be life threatening.
Eighty one of the photo accompanied scans which had incidental findings were selected for a follow up study. They were then reviewed by the same doctors three months later, this time without the photos attached. Since radiologists read so many scans per day and had no knowledge they were involved in a study they didn’t realize they were reviewing the same scans again.
The results were startling. They found that “80% of the incidental findings were not reported when the photograph was omitted from the file.” Even though these radiologists were looking at the same scans they had reviewed three months earlier they failed to see the previously found incidental findings which were noted when a picture accompanied the file. “Our study emphasizes approaching the patient as a human being and not as an anonymous case study,” the investigator told ScienceDaily.
What does this have to do with my mortgage you ask?
How can I use this to help with my clients’ mortgage requests?
The ol’ light bulb went off in my head. What would happen if an underwriter could see a picture of the family whose loan request they were reviewing and hopefully, approving? With fewer, less complicated conditions?
Would it make a difference as it had in the radiologists mind’s eye in how they viewed their patients? Or as the hospital staff care givers had clearly stated?
Quicker Mortgage Approvals with Fewer Conditions
My first file with a picture of a family has been submitted to an underwriter. I have no idea whether this will elicit the same kind of empathetic response. But, now there is evidence to suggest it might.
For some time, the mortgage underwriting process has been trying to move away from subjective analysis to a more objective basis for loan decisions. This has been the whole purpose behind credit scoring and the automated underwriting system algorithms. This picture in the file might be a welcomed change to an otherwise overworked underwriter.
Unfortunately, there’s a file setup routine that each lender uses when boarding a loan for underwriting. I am not sure whether a picture of the family will be flagged and removed or not.
Nevertheless, if I can deliver an advantage to my clients, I will.
My team at MetFund looks forward to combining skills and resources to help you achieve your real estate financing goals. Call Steve today to get started!