"Wish List" Outlines Patients' Expectations for Hospital Stays, and Some Easy Fixes


Even before HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems), hospital leaders and clinicians were striving to provide not only high quality care, but a place patients choose to meet their future healthcare needs. Just this week, US News and World Report published an article entitled "The Patient Wish List." Although not a list generated from a scientific study, the author, Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, who is the director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality and senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine, worked with Jan Hill, patient relations director at Johns Hopkins, to develop a list intended to be a "conversation starter."

So, how does this apply to hospitalists? Many of the items on the list are an easy fix and don't cost a thing. Here are a few areas hospitalist can impact:

  1. I want to sleep. For example: are there standing overnight test orders that could be provided during the day?
  2. Reduce noise outside my room, particularly at night. How can hospitalists contribute to reducing hallway and nursing station noise?
  3. Knock before entering. It's a sign of respect to knock before entering the patient's room. Sitting down while talking to the patient and introducing yourself are also key.
  4. Keep me (and my family) updated. Are you always updating the patient and family about the plan of care and if things change?
  5. I want to be a part of my care. Do you always use language patients (and families) can easily understand? How do you ensure patients (and families) understand the plan of care?
  6. Be professional, always. No matter where you are in the hospital, patients and families are watching you closely. Ask yourself, "How I perceive you is often how I perceive the hospital and care that I am receiving."

What else can you do to improve the patient's experience in your hospital? TH

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