NOTE: This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of CONSULT, UMMC's monthly electronic newsletter. To have CONSULT, and more stories like this, delivered directly to your inbox, click here to subscribe.
Amber Taylor, a licensed practical nurse at UMMC's clinic on Lakeland Drive, provides care with empathy by going above and beyond for her pediatric patients.
Amber Taylor, right, a family medicine nurse, helps twins Jordyn and Justice Burgemaster of Madison choose a toy from a box.
She “penny shops” at local dollar stores, purchasing with her own money marked-down toys and gadgets for the children treated at the Lakeland Medical Building.
“I put them in a toy box, and the kids can enjoy them after they go to the doctor,” Taylor said. “Usually, if they're getting shots, we bring them to the toy box. It helps them to calm down.”
Those who put the patient first by meeting their physical and emotional needs can be found in all of UMMC's corners and corridors.
The Medical Center's Volunteer Services team enhances the patient experience through a number of initiatives, including Within Reach, which addresses fall prevention safety.
Moseziner “Mo” Crozier, a UMMC volunteer, checks in on Charles Palm Boyd of Morton.
Moseziner “Mo” Crozier of Jackson, who volunteers at the hospital every Tuesday, brings patients their glasses, magazines and other items that aren't within reach, potentially saving patients from a fall if they get out of bed.
“I was in the ICU for a long time, and the nurses and staff were so good to me,” said Crozier, who had a heart transplant at UMMC in 2015. “They met my every need. They treated me like I was a queen.
“I want the patients I visit to feel the same way I did.”
UMMC wants patients of all ages to leave the hospitals and clinics saying their experience was excellent, from the time they're checked in to the moment they walk out the door.
“We want to provide patient-centered care simply because it's the right thing to do,” said Adrienne Murray, director of nursing quality, development and professional practice.
The Medical Center has created an Office of Patient Experience to provide infrastructure for leading employees in taking care of the needs of patients and their families.
“This is an office that will elevate the importance of the patient experience,” said Dr. Lisa Didion, associate professor of pediatrics.
Murray and Didion are leading the effort under the guidance of Dr. Michael Henderson, chief medical officer, and Terri Gillespie, chief nursing officer.
The new office and its focus have strong support from UMMC senior leadership. The appointment of a nurse and a doctor to lead the new office solidifies the need for a multidisciplinary partnership, said Candice Whitfield, the administrator of Henderson's office.
“They'll be looking at things that everyone at UMMC can do to influence a better patient experience and to promote better patient care.”
The new office's guiding principles will focus on patient-centered care, employee engagement, patients' voice and aligned programming. Its structure will include an oversight committee of clinical employees committed to helping Murray and Didion identify barriers and find ways to eliminate them.
Areas critical to a positive patient experience include safe and high-value care, care with empathy, and responsiveness to issues raised by patients.
Didion and Murray “will bring forward the ideas and content to help the front line,” said Henderson. “Every person who walks through the door here, every day, has some responsibility for patient experience.”
Didion and Murray are developing and aligning new programs and approaches to support frontline caregivers at all of UMMC's hospitals and ambulatory locations. The office brings together components the Medical Center already has been assessing in its quest to deliver an excellent patient experience.
Specific functions of the office include ensuring all regulatory and reporting requirements for patient experience are met; engaging patients and caregivers in improving the patient experience through service delivery and advisory councils; collecting, managing and presenting data to be used for improvement and accountability; and supporting and enabling recognition and celebration of successful patient experience efforts.
“Patients will have more support through this office,” Murray pledged.
Always putting patients first, and taking their voices seriously, will help the Medical Center achieve its patient experience goals, according to Didion.
“From surveys to complaints and grievances, we have to listen,” Didion said. “We have to not just hear it, but listen to it. We have to hold each other accountable for providing the care that our patients deserve.”