Anyone who is a truly passionate patient experience advocate must challenge the status quo about anything and everything that doesn’t serve the patient. If you don’t speak up, you are part of the problem.
Over the past several months I’ve undergone treatment that require me to lay on a flat surface and turn every 15 minutes for two hours. The nurses administering the treatment have all been fabulous. They have been right there for me with warm blankets and other comfort measures. Until last week.
Because of an equipment failure at my local hospital, I was no longer able to get my treatment locally. I had to travel to another facility over 30 miles away. I’ll call this facility B. I adjusted to the change of plans because it was beyond my control and I just needed to move on with the treatment. But the processes and conditions for the treatment at facility B would get a D- at best.
The nurses at facility B were very skilled, kind and professional, but the conditions for treatment were degrading and uncomfortable. I had to lie on an exam table for two hours with nothing but a paper sheet over me. After two hours and seven rotations, the sheet was shredded giving me minimal coverage. To make matters worse, there was no curtain between me and the door and I didn’t have a call light. I was told to yell if I needed anything and they should be able to hear me. When it came time to use the bathroom, all I had for coverage was my shredded sheet. Undignified to say the least. I learned that if I wanted to feel comfortable and protect my privacy that I would have to bring my own blanket and someone to assist me.
At one point, the nurse said, “I know this is not ideal.” Not ideal? No. The arrangement is undignified, uncomfortable and disrespectful. There was no regard for my privacy or sense of safety. Patients need champions who will stand up and say, “We are better than this and our patients deserve better than this.” If you see something that is not serving your patients well, as a patient experience advocate, you have an obligation to do what you can to make it better. Seeing a broken process or system, and doing nothing, makes you part of the problem.
- The Royal Treatment
- Thank You Note Challenge
- Comfort Always
- Develop a Patient-Centered Filter
- See the Person not the Diagnosis