Mango moments. Suddenly it was everywhere in the news. The mango moment of Viviane Coolen and Annemie Struyf. At the time, the sick patient Viviane was asked by journalist Annemie Struyf if there was anything else she could do to please her. Tasting the taste of a mango was her answer.

And with that the mango moment was born. The mango moment is labeled as a small, spontaneous moment of personal attention. Newsworthy? Certainly. But do we as an organization now have to look for our mango moments?

No, as far as we are concerned.

Don't get us wrong. We fully embrace the principle of people-oriented care. Thank you for that extra attention. But let's be honest: isn't personal attention what healthcare should always be about?

Mango moments are small, spontaneous moments of personal attention, a ray of hope for people who receive care. And not only for the care recipients, the care providers involved indicate that such a moment of personal attention is also small magical moments for them. In today's world, these are the special moments why they started working in healthcare. In addition, we know: care recipients with a positive care experience have better clinical outcomes (Fremont, Clearly & Hargraves). The good news is: in every care situation there is room for personal attention to be found (or made). How? We give 3 tips.


  • Open your eyes and ears. You can only surprise the care recipient if you see him or her. Not the mortally ill patient who asks for a syringe but the person behind it who wants nothing more than to taste a mango one more time. And because it can be something very small that someone actually needs at that moment, it can also be realized easily and directly.


  • Know your patient journey. Make sure you know when people have an emotional or physical dip, so that you can assist them at those moments with a little personal attention or little gesture. If this turns out to be a 'pain point' for several people, you can structurally adjust or arrange your services accordingly. For example, a self-selected meal after a sober time must be extra nice.


  • Attention in the spotlight. Create a culture in which there may be time for personal attention. That does not have to take more time. For example, sitting on the edge of the bed for a while is perceived as more and longer personal attention than when you walk standing during your visit round. Share personal anecdotes with your colleagues. Who knows, it might inspire them to a 'mango moment'. And put employees who have initiative with regard to care recipients in the spotlight.


Do you also want more attention for attention? We are happy to think along with you to structurally include these small, but valuable moments in the working method. For example when developing a patient journey.

Published on
16 July 2018

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Lisette van Elst