As we begin our days, whether at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. in the medical center, at the West Campus or across the community, we arrive with the potential to impact the lives of thousands of children and women in our care.
Because we engage with so many families each day, we can sometimes take for granted how our daily interactions impact our patients’ and families’ lives. How we work and how we engage with our families today may affect a memory that lasts a lifetime.
Employees like Donald Wilkins take that notion to heart. Donald works with families in Ambulatory Surgery to keep them updated about their children’s status during surgery. For anxious parents awaiting a child’s status and needing a bit of reassurance, Donald is one of the most important people they’ll interact with at Texas Children’s. Even more important is Donald’s role in making sure the patient feels comfortable and confident about the procedure they’re about to undergo. On a recent “Caught You Caring” card, one patient wrote:
“Throughout my stay, one person has shined like a bright star in my eyes. I met him in the surgery waiting room – his name is Donald. He is an amazing person and has a one-of-a-kind personality. He made me very comfortable and made me feel safe pre-surgery. He checked on me often and made sure I felt ok. He came to visit me today and made me very happy. People like him make me want to go into the medical field and help children with chronic illnesses like me feel better. Thank you for all you do Donald. God bless you.”
This week, as we celebrate Patient Experience Week with hospitals nationwide, it’s important to remember that each of us has the potential to make a similar impact every day. And it’s important. Research even shows that when a family has a great experience, they listen more intently to their medical instructions and follow doctors’ orders more thoroughly. They’re readmitted to the hospital less often and have fewer return visits with the doctor when they feel comfortable enough to ask the right questions the first time around. It makes sense: how we make our families feel is an essential part of caregiving.
That’s why ensuring positive patient experiences isn’t something that’s just nice to do – it’s our priority at Texas Children’s, and really, it’s our promise to our families. Our patients know they can count on us for the best medical care. We want them to expect and receive an exceptional experience at Texas Children’s as well.
To this end, we are making concerted efforts to elevate the patient experience throughout our system. For instance, our leaders and their teams are conducting “intentional rounding” at the hospitals. In the Emergency Center, we changed our notification system to help families understand our process and the reason behind wait times. And in our clinics and practices, we armed employees with tips and ideas for creating positive memories with patients every day.
These are just some of the ways we are demonstrating our dedication to exceptional patient experiences for every patient and every family who comes to any part of Texas Children’s. We will continue to ask our patients about their experiences and listen for ways to improve.
So as you arrive tomorrow morning or evening, at one of our hospitals, clinics, practices or any Texas Children’s location, think about the potential in you to create an even better experience for everyone you encounter that day. Even if your role doesn’t involve direct patient care, you have the ability to encourage or support colleagues. That promotes team work and strengthens our sense of culture, and that absolutely impacts patient experience down the line.
It all matters to every single family we touch. So arrive each day, ready and excited for the wonderful opportunity you might have at any moment to make a difference.