The butterfly logo reinforces that while the process of transformation is gradual and at times challenging, with patience, creativity and perseverance the results can be well worth the effort. This year’s theme is “Compassion in Action” and emphasizes the importance of supporting professional caregivers in their efforts to provide quality care.
“As a hospital committed to providing patient-centered care, we want patients who come to FMH to expect more,” says Cheryl Cioffi, FMH vice president and chief nursing officer. “We want them to expect to be treated with compassion and as partners in their own care. We want them to expect open communication and ample information about their treatment in language they can understand. And we want them to expect that we honor their personal preferences to create a care plan they can confidently manage when they go home. This Patient-Centered Care Awareness Month campaign is an opportunity for us to reinforce to our patients and their families what we are doing to support them and their families.”
What We’re Doing
Our focus on patient-centered care includes beginning the discharge planning process when a patient is admitted. We know patients don’t want to stay in the hospital any longer than necessary, so as soon as they’re settled we start thinking about getting them back home. We gather and review the information patients will need at discharge and start lining up anything they may need, from medication (which can be delivered right to the hospital bedside thanks to our partnership with Walgreens) to coordinating follow-up visits.
During a patient’s hospital stay, we empower his or her family, friends and loved ones to alert us to any change they may notice in the patient using our Condition H process. If any visitor feels something just doesn’t seem right, he or she can dial a special number to alert the care team and get help immediately. No one knows the patient as well as his or her loved ones, so visitors can play a vital role in keeping our patients safe and on the mend.
For patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), we encourage patients’ family members to participate in multidisciplinary rounding. Each day, representatives from each department involved in a patient’s care gather to discuss the patient’s progress and how to proceed. Including a patient’s family in these discussions (particularly if the patient is not well enough to be involved) helps the care team stay focused on what that specific patient needs and wants.
For the past several years, the FMH Care Transitions program has been making the transfer from hospital to home smoother and safer for patients at high risk for readmission. Under this program, a Care Transitions coordinator works with patients and their caregivers to help them understand and care for their post-discharge needs. These needs may include how to manage medications, use a written personal health record to communicate with physicians, make the most of scheduled follow-up visits and recognize any signs their condition may be worsening.
“The Care Transitions program is an important part of assuring that patients being discharged know how to care for themselves when they get home,” says FMH Care Management Director Heather Kirby, “and encourages them to get the follow-up care that will keep them on the road to recovery.”
Whether or not they’re a part of the Care Transitions program, a few days after patients return home FMH nurses call to make sure they’re recovering well and review their time in the hospital to see if they have any questions.
All of these efforts are only a start for enhancing Patient and Family Centered Care. We’re working to take our partnership with patients and families even further by increasing multidisciplinary rounds to include the family, expanding nursing change of shift report at the patient’s bedside, forming a patient advisory council and developing a patient portal so you can easily access your health records.