SUMMARY: Most healthcare systems are working hard to exceed their patients’ expectations and understand that the long term benefits to the patient and organization are manifold. Read which strategic objectives can lead to a state-of-the-art service model, and better healthcare experiences overall.
At our February 25th Open Meeting, renowned Art Therapist Linda Nicholas facilitated a workshop on telling the patient experiencewith healthcare through graphic expression. For anyone unfamiliar with art as a therapeutic technique, the method is generally understood in two ways: to treat the art-making process as therapeutic in itself, or by using art to facilitate the transference process between the therapist and the client making art.
Whether experienced directly or through another, healthcare experiences can be traumatic. Most of us are used to telling our patient stories through verbal communication, but words can hinder and place articificial cielings on expression whereas drawing reveals nuaunces and intricate details that exist below the surface.
With Linda's direction it became clear that the insights lie in the unintentionality of the drawing process. So, when participants say 'it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to' - and this happened a lot - Linda would say that there are no accidents in drawing. Seemingly unimportant details in the drawing can uncover discrepancies in what we believed was the case - what our memory stored - and what actually happened, offering a fresh perspective on an experience.
The positive feedback was overwhelming. One member thought the workshop stood apart from other Patients' Association meetings as 'looking at a familiar story in a whole different light gained new and unexpected insights.' We're delighted that everyone enjoyed the session and we look forward to offering similarly engaging sessions in the future - stay tuned!
You can read more on Linda Nicholas and her book "Drawing out the Self" here.
OPEN MEETING: Jan 17, 2013 During last night's Open Meeting, we had a discussion about key performance indicators (KPIs) for patient and family centred care. Participants discussed their experiences as patients and family caregivers, and how those experiences might have been better. We broke up into groups to discuss how we could turn those insights into measures of the healthcare experience - identifying key performance indicators that could be applied to the system to make it more patient-friendly. See some of those recommendations below!
Outcome Measures Should Reflect Quality of Life
Individualized, based on a conversation between the patient and provider about how the patient wants to feel after treatment
Quality of Life Indicators should be revisited and developed over time
Education Should be Available to help Patients and Family Members Navigate the System
Teach patients and family members to advocate for themselves
Programs in place that teach volunteers how to advocate for patients who are alone
Finding a General Practitioner
(especially for "difficult" patients - patients who are seniors, have mental health issues, or have chronic conditions)
Can you find a General Practitioner?
How long does it take to secure a General Practitioner?
Patient Interactions with Providers
Can you book a medical appointment online?
How long do you have to wait for an appointment?
Can you communicate with your provider by phone or email?
Were you handed a treatment plan?
Were test results delivered within 24 hours?
Were test results explained to the patient?
One Stop Care
Can you get all of the appointments, tests, procedures, etc. that you need within the family health practice or the hospital?
Recognition that Patients have Families
Family members who are acting as caregivers need to be informed about treatment plans, etc.
Family members can be present if the patient wants them there eg. no visiting hours, family can always visit
Continuity of Relationship with your Provider/Health Team
Same personnel is present throughout care
Methods of Communication that are more Accessible
Ensuring that every patient can understand procedures, directions, etc.
Continuing Medical Education Required of all Physicians
Currently some doctors are not required to complete continuing education courses - it should be a requirement across the board