70 East Street, Methuen, MA 01844 978-687-0151
2011 was a big year for Holy Family Hospital. We experienced tremendous changes as we ventured into our new identity as part of Steward Health Care. We opened our new Emergency Department in August thanks to the tremendous teamwork of many people. The Patient and Family Advisory Council dedicated this year to continuing the projects of 2010 and focusing on some new challenges presented.
In anticipation of the summertime opening of the new Emergency Department, often considered the hospital’s “other front door,” the council reiterated the importance of the patient and family experience in the Emergency Department. Late in 2010 members of the council collaborated with the Director of Emergency Services to develop an ambassador program where specially trained volunteers circulate in the emergency room to help ensure that patients and their family members feel welcome and have everything that they need. Nancy Trick, Patient Advocate and coordinator for the Ambassador Program, reported regularly on the progress of the program. Nancy began her own training as an ED Ambassador early this year and became the person to train all future ambassadors. By year’s end we had ED Ambassadors in the Emergency Department for a few hours several days per week. The ambassadors have been well received by patients and families. The program was expanded to Pediatric Place where ambassadors visit with families and often read to the children. The program is still growing and volunteers are still needed to continue this valuable work. The committee will continue to advise on this project as we move into 2012.
In 2010 the committee focused on patient satisfaction surrounding pain management. In 2011 the focus expanded to include a focus on patient satisfaction with the whole experience of care including noise at night. The hospital established the Experience of Care Committee, a multi-disciplinary group to address the challenges and solutions for achieving high satisfaction scores from our patients. The group rounds on patient care units, evaluates processes, talks to patients, and works with staff to constantly make improvements. Cheryl Edwards reported regularly on the activity and progress made by this group. Valerie Nydan, a nurse on the committee, presented to PFAC some of the successes of the group including the creation of the night box. This special box is available on each unit and contains such items as ear plugs, headsets for the TV’s, CD player, playing cards, etc which are helpful in making the patient’s stay more comfortable and quiet for themselves and the other patients. Management of pain is one of the most important care processes to patients. The hospital recently approved the development of a clinical pain management council. The PFAC will follow the progress of this group as it takes form in 2012.
In 2010, our members identified a need for staff education about Compassion Fatigue. Compassion Fatigue is a term generally applied to health care providers that work in intense fields such as trauma, mental illness, surgery, and emergency medicine. When caregivers focus on others without practicing self-care, the resultant apathy, isolation, and bottled up emotions impact not only patient care but also the well-being of the caregiver. During 2011 we broadened the scope of our focus to include the general well being of staff and creating a supportive work environment. Members of the council worked with Human Resources, Employee Health Services, Mission, and Sobel & Raciti, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, to promote awareness surrounding this subject. Sobel & Raciti provided educational programs for managers at Management Grand Rounds and provided regular newsletters to staff. Newsletters included subjects such as “How to Talk to Your Boss”, “Taking Care of Others/Taking Care of Yourself: Compassion Fatigue”, and “Ten Tips for Reducing Workplace Stress.” Karen Kennedy, our Director of Missions and Community Partnerships organized a professional development program for caregivers across Steward entitled, “Caring for Vulnerable Patients & Care of the Self: Strategies for Treating Patients with Character Disorder and Avoiding Compassion Fatigue.” As we move into 2012, Steward is embarking on a new initiative, “Service Excellence Everywhere.” This program will focus on customer service, not only for our patients but for our co-workers. The PFAC will follow the progress made by the local committee as the program rolls out.
The newest topic for our PFAC to be involved with is our STAAR collaborative. A multidisciplinary group has been assembled to address decreasing the incidence of hospital re-admissions. The focus of this group was to identify the reasons why patients return to the hospital and devise practices that may make an improvement. Much of the solutions revolve around better patient education tools and methods as well as increased communications between caregivers both within the hospital and outside the hospital. The PFAC has offered valuable feedback with regard to the written material given to the patient as well as components of the “teach-back” method of education. The goal is to help patients be better prepared when they leave our facility and feel confident that they have the resources and plans in place to make them successful in the management of their health condition. We expect 2012 to be a big year for STAAR with many new elements implemented.
2011 Annual Report
If you would like more information on joining the Patient and Family Advisory Council, please contact Deb Griffin at 978-687-0156, ext. 2286 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .