National Patient Experience Week is celebrated the week of April 24 through 28. While it is important to have a designated range of dates to bring attention to the importance of focusing on the patient experience, it is something that Grinnell Regional Medical Center strives to put into practice each and every day. So, what is exactly is patient experience? Is it really all that important?
The Beryl Institute is a global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge. They define the patient experience as “the sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization’s culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care.”
At GRMC, providing a positive, unique patient experience for each individual and their support persons is something that we endeavor to weave into our culture each and every day. We believe that in order to make any positive gains in our delivery of healthcare, those of us who administer care must realize that there cannot be forward progress until we stop doing things to our patients and start doing things with our patients.
The individuals that come to us for help are going through experiences that may be intimidating, painful, produce anxiety, and, at times, tragic. It is our job as healthcare professionals to recognize these factors and treat each individual and their loved ones with compassion and understanding. Forming a connection and a partnership with that person and their support team builds trust, eases tension, and enhances the overall experience. Providing a positive, uplifting experience can be as advantageous to a patient’s physical and emotional health as any other procedure or medication.
Healthcare reform needs to start here with a multi-disciplinary team that includes the patient and his or her support system; listens to the specific needs and desires of those persons through each step of the care experience; and elevates and reinforces the creation of an experience. Committing to creating experiences like these will result in improved safety, quality, service, cost, and outcomes. So, yes; the patient experience is incredibly important! That’s why we at GRMC make quality care and patient experience top priorities.