Apr 25, 2023 | Faces of HDGH
“I remember sitting at the kitchen table, having breakfast with my husband. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in a hospital with my husband at my side. I suffered a stroke, and I was scared. After a few days in hospital, I was having a lot of difficulty using my right arm and my right foot seemed to drag. The doctor strongly suggested I spend some time in a rehab hospital to get stronger. I wondered what to expect and how long I would have to stay there. I am lonely in the hospital and do not like being away from home. I am a private person and more time in the hospital did not sound appealing. I am independent and not used to relying on people to help me.
Nevertheless, I agreed to give it a try. Upon admission, I received a friendly “hello” and was greeted with a smile. Everyday a wonderful person brought me a warm towel to wipe my face and hands. This was so comforting. The kitchen staff listened to my request for an extra cup of coffee after breakfast, making for a great start to my day! The spotlessly clean room truly made my hospital stay pleasant. I know staff have a demanding job, yet little things make the difference.”
What a great narrative to reflect upon as we celebrate Patient Experience Week from April 23-29. 2023.
When I asked people to describe what the term, “patient experience” means to them, I heard things like, “kindness and respect”. Others emphasized the importance of clear and honest communication, and sincere listening. Involving patients and/or family in the care plan was also important.
Many people spoke about feeling vulnerable, concerned about privacy, loss of independence and being lonely and named empathy, or putting oneself in the shoes of another, as the key ingredient for success. “Empathy is foundational for building bridges between individuals, understanding each other’s’ complex emotions, gaining a diverse perspective, and leveraging relationships for collaboration and progress”. (Jordan Catapano, a high school assistant principal in Illinois.)
At HDGH we strive for a positive patient experience. Our organizational values of teamwork, compassion, and respect, not only guide our approach with patients, but also how we work with one another. The past few years have presented many challenges. Yet, in my role as Patient Advocate, I heard much expression of gratitude, contentment and satisfaction. Interestingly, when there was a concern, our patients were empathetic toward our staff, understanding the demands of their job. Patients trust us to provide them with quality care.
The definition of patient experience I like to use is the one from the Beryl Institute. They define it as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.” As healthcare providers our everyday work is routine. For patients, coming to the hospital is new and unknown. What can we do to welcome people and reduce their anxiety? What would you want if it was you or your loved one?
Everyone at HDGH has a contribution. What is the positivity you want to create or become part of, so that everyone can enjoy a good experience?
Walk in my shoes. Listen. Learn. Take an interest. Support. We are the patient experience!
As the Patient Advocate & Manager, Mission, Lisa has worked tirelessly to facilitate and resolve the concerns of our patients and their love ones. She supports them in gaining access to timely and accurate information so they can truly be full participants in their healthcare journey. She has been instrumental to developing and growing HDGH’s Essential Care Partner Program.
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