There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes to provide patients with a great experience. Here’s how Corona Regional Medical Center is making it happen.
For most people, the hospital is the last place they’d want to be, unless they are sick and need care. But having a great patient experience can make all the difference in the world.
Director of Quality Management Tricia Gray, and Patient Experience Liaison Kristin Perkins, couldn’t agree more. Gray says in the past, patient experience was solely a nursing function, but now it is a more concerted effort by all stakeholders – nurses, physicians and frontline staff.
“We have a Patient Experience Taskforce,” says Perkins. “As a result, we have put new practices in place and have the ability to share patient feedback with a bigger audience, including the Patient and Family Advisory Council. The result is greater satisfaction and a better experience for our patients and families.”
Based on feedback from the Patient Experience Taskforce, many improvements have been made. One improvement, known as the “Quiet Time Initiative,” is the hospital’s approach to promote an environment for health and healing. There is a designated time of the day, from 2 to 4 p.m., when there is minimal to no unnecessary noise in the hospital. During this time, overhead paging is restricted, visitors and staff are asked to silence cell phones, and hallway lights are dimmed. Patients are also offered a kit that includes earplugs, an eye mask and aromatherapy to enhance their healing process during quiet time.
Another improvement the hospital has made is providing room service to the patients. Perkins states that the menus are more robust and meals are customized based on patient preference. “Every morning, patients receive a menu and have the ability to call and place an order for a meal. This gives them more options of foods they like, which adds a level of comfort,” says Perkins.
The hospital has also adopted a standardized approach for how they educate patients about the benefits and possible side effects of their medications. Gray says the nurses will educate patients using a visual aid with the “teach back” method to validate patient understanding, and provide a laminated card that prompts patients to ask any questions related to their medication.
Perkins also notes that the leadership team actively participates in daily patient rounding. It demonstrates the level of engagement throughout the organization and commitment to patient well-being. In addition, every department within the hospital is responsible for selecting a process they want to improve that relates to the patient experience. “We get feedback on everything we are doing and work to improve all facets. We also recognize five employees a month for exemplary service,” says Perkins. “It’s all about going above and beyond so every patient has a great experience.”