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The Patient Experience movement is gaining momentum across North America. Rising health consumer expectations, significant demographic shifts and an increase in healthcare performance transparency are driving this movement and it is of particular importance to STEGH, whose vision is to deliver an excellent patient care experience – every time. Relying on best practices, a commitment to re-invigorating compassionate care, and promoting patient, family and community engagement, the Patient Experience Strategy guides this important work to elevate the patient experience at STEGH.
STEGH’s Patient Experience Council consists of 10 community volunteers – known as Patient Advisors – and six staff advisors. The council is in its second year and has achieved many successes during the past fiscal year. STEGH’s inclusion and willingness to let the “voice of the customer” help frame quality improvement, and its successful launch of this highly engaged and effective Patient Experience Council, has been acknowledged and recognized by peer hospitals, Accreditation Canada, and the Patient Experience industry across North America. STEGH presented its utilization of Lean methodologies to guide its patient experience strategy at a Beryl Institute webinar and has contributed to the course curriculum development of a new Patient Centred Experience and Design Program for HealthCareCAN, the national voice of healthcare organizations and hospitals across Canada with a focus on informed and continuous, results oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare.
In April 2015, STEGH formally launched its Family Presence Guidelines, eliminating set visiting hours and welcoming family members as partners in care 24 hours a day according to the patient’s preference. STEGH believes it is important for patients to experience the support of family and friends if this is their wish.
The Family Presence Guidelines were developed and informed by STEGH’s Patient Experience Council to ensure the voice of the patient was included in the process. For patients, evidence suggests that supporting family presence and participation according to patient’s preferences decreases anxiety and confusion, makes the patient feel more secure and increases patient satisfaction, quality and safety. The presence of family members also promotes better communication and allows for more opportunities for patient and family teaching.
In June, 2015, STEGH moved to a decentralized patient registration process. The decision to have patients go directly to their point of care to registers enhances the patient experience, respects people’s time, and minimizes travel for our patients and families. The decision was made after careful consideration that involved feedback and input from Patient Advisors, our outpatients, their families and our staff.
Our new Patient and Family Resource Centre (PFRC), located in the South Building Atrium, opened in November 2015. This Centre provides patients and families with health consumer information as well as information on community resources in Elgin County. Having a centralized resource centre avoids duplication of patient education efforts and can support many diverse departments within our hospital. It also provides a quiet, non-clinical space for families to rest while waiting for their loved ones receiving care in hospital.
STEGH’s Patient Advisors volunteer in the PFRC to assist patients and families in accessing information and in wayfinding.
STEGH continues to actively recruit volunteer patient and family advisors. For more information on the role of an advisor and how to apply, click here
Nancy Lawrence, Strategic Communications and Stakeholder Relations Lead, in the Patient Family Resource Centre. In her role, Nancy has oversight of the Patient Experience Strategy and Office.