From Good to Great
by, 12-02-2010 at 06:30 AM (15099 Views)
Just before the Thanksgiving holiday, my mother was hospitalized. Her surgery went well and she is recuperating as expected. However, the event occurred at a time when I was deep in thought about the future of nursing and creating an exemplary healthcare experience.
As I sat at my motherís bedside in the ICU and later in the step-down unit, I observed the nurses and other members of the healthcare team and contemplated the experience through the lens of a family member instead of that as a nurse.
My mother received excellent care during her hospitalization, although my brothers and I found ourselves wanting to be included as trustworthy partners of the care team. The doctors, nurses, and therapists entering the room, routinely introduced themselves, and asked if there was anything my mother needed. They were professional, knowledgeable, and competent. However the only information we received about my motherís care goals were what we read on the whiteboard posted in her room. My mother didnít understand many aspects of her care such as why she was receiving heparin or having her finger stuck to test her blood sugar. It would have been helpful for our family to understand the plan for pain management, and ambulation, as well as hospital protocol bundles. Had we been treated more as partners, we could have avoided the constant barrage of questions we had each time a provider entered the room. In short, we could have supported the plan of care more effectively.
This week during the keynote session of the National Summit on Advancing Health through Nursing, Dr. Don Berwick, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, shared his view that healthcare providers are ďguestsĒ in our patientís lives rather than hosts to patients who enter our facilities. Adopting this point of view would have changed our recent experience from good to great.