Tag Archives: patient care

The Patient Dignity Question meets the “Care Effect”

4 Jun

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters

“What do I need to know about you as a person to give you the best care possible?”

Tina was our longtime former housekeeper at the Royal Jubilee Hospital. She somehow knew that this question was the key to her remarkably close relationships with patients and their families at our 17-bed Victoria Hospice in-patient unit. During her 30+ year career spent cleaning patient rooms day in and day out, amid rotating nursing shifts and a blur of end-of-life care consults, Tina’s friendly face was often the one predictable constant for patients. She chatted with them while she worked, got to know family members and other visitors by name, and remembered details about each patient’s real life (meaning, before they became patients) that made them feel unique and cared about. And it was reciprocal – everybody loved Tina!

Tina didn’t invent this question, but as a kind and naturally compassionate person, she knew intuitively that what’s known as the Patient Dignity Question was very, very important to patients and their families. Continue reading

Why are so many patients dissatisfied with their doctors?

25 Aug

by Carolyn Thomas @HeartSisters

If you sometimes feel like you don’t get enough respect from your physician, you may not be alone. In fact, two new global studies* from 23 countries show that two-thirds of patients around the world feel disrespected by their physicians – no matter which country they call home. For example, about one-quarter of patients surveyed complained that their physicians don’t answer questions, don’t involve them in treatment decisions, and use medical jargon with no explanation.

This appears to be a direct outcome of doctors not spending enough time with patients (44%).  About a third of patients also believe doctors show disrespect by not being punctual for appointments.  Continue reading

Top 10 Tips on How To Treat Patients – my guest post on ‘Better Health’

2 Nov

This Heart Sisters original article was reprinted today as a guest post on the website BETTER HEALTH


hospital

An open letter to all hospital employees,

After a particularly bizarre experience undergoing a treadmill stress echocardiogram at your hospital recently, I decided to do something that I have never done before. I called the Cardiology Department manager to complain about her staff. Incidentally, a recent survey of international tourists found that Canadians were #1 in only one category:

“Least likely to complain when things go wrong”

So you can appreciate that lodging an official complaint is a fairly Big Deal up here!

In my best PR fashion, I told your Cardiology Department manager how distressing the appointment had been because of the behaviour of the two cardiac technicians in the room. It’s not so much that they were openly rude – but it was their insufferable lack of people skills that had pushed me over the edge.

No introductions, no eye contact, no consideration of how awkward this test can be, no explanation of the test procedures or even the flimsiest effort at polite conversation. To them, I was merely the 1 o’clock appointment, the obstacle between them and their next coffee break, just a piece of meat on a slab – but worse, an invisible piece of meat.

And by the way, next time I’m ordered to strip to the waist in front of a strange man, he’d better buy me dinner first.

Read the rest of this article on Better Health.


An open letter to all hospital staff

10 Jul

hospital

by Carolyn Thomas  ♥  @HeartSisters

Dear hospital employees,

After a particularly bizarre experience undergoing a treadmill stress echocardiogram at your hospital recently, I decided to do something that I have never done before.  I called the Cardiology Department manager to complain about her staff.  (Incidentally, a recent opinion survey of international travellers found that Canadians were #1 in only one category:  “Least likely to complain when things go wrong” – so you can appreciate that lodging an official complaint is a fairly Big Deal here!)

In my best PR fashion, I told the manager how distressing the appointment had been for me because of the behaviour of the two cardiac technicians in the room.  Continue reading

If Disney ran your hospital: what would Mickey and Minnie do?

6 Jul

by Carolyn Thomas 

Once upon a time, a former hospital administrator named Fred Lee was invited by the Wonderful World of Disney people to help them out. He had a great time facilitating Disney employee seminars like Customer Loyalty and Disney’s Approach to Quality Service. Then one day in 2004, he wrote an award-winning book combining his two loves (the Magic Kingdom plus running hospitals).  It was called If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently.

These days, Fred Lee teaches his If Disney Ran Your Hospital health care management strategies to hospital employees and senior administrators.   He believes that all hospitals can and should become places where:

  • employees say, “I love to work here!”
  • managers say, “I love the people I work with!”
  • doctors and nurses say, “We love our patients!”
  • patients and families say, “We love this hospital!”

Does this sound a bit too Disney-esque, even for Disney?  As patients, many of us have told horror stories, not fairy tales, about our experiences dealing with hospitals or their staff. read more about how Disney might run your hospital