10 Things Parents of Pediatric Patients Want During a Hospital Stay
Hospitals cannot improve the patient experience without listening to — and acting on — patient feedback, Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, senior vice president for clinical safety at Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare, said in a 2015 blog post for Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.
Dr. Pronovost formerly served as director of the Armstrong Institute and senior vice president for patient safety and quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. In this role, he worked with Jane Hill, Johns Hopkins’ patient relations director, to compile “patient wish lists” based on the most common pieces of feedback the hospital received from patient letters or surveys.
While the two leaders developed an overarching patient wish list for the health system, Johns Hopkins’ Patient and Family Advisory Councils also created individual patient wish lists to speak to their own patient populations’ specific needs, a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins Medicine told Becker’s Hospital Review.
Here are 10 things the parents of pediatric patients said they wanted from clinicians during a hospital stay, as compiled by the Pediatric Family Advisory Council for Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.
1. Meet our basic needs. Parents want to be oriented to the hospital once their child is admitted. Clinicians should inform parents where they can get food, how to pay for parking, when visiting hours are, etc.
2. Let us see you wash your hands. Parents worry about germs in the hospital. Clinicians can demonstrate they are dedicated to keeping a pediatric patient safe by washing their hands in front of the patient and his or her parents.
3. Introduce yourself before you start speaking. Parents want to know who clinicians are and how they will be involved with their child’s care as soon as they enter the room.
4. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Parents are always waiting for updates from clinicians and want to know as much information as possible. Parents plan their day around the times they get to speak to providers, so clinicians should let them know if they’re delayed.
5. Know my child’s entire medical history. Parents want clinicians to be as well-versed about their child’s medical history as possible.
6. Be present when you are with us. Parents want clinicians to take the time to answer their questions and outline a care plan for the day. They want to be involved in the planning and discussion of their child’s healthcare goals.
7. Tell us when there is downtime. A patient’s loved ones don’t want to leave and miss something important, so providers should inform them of opportune times to get food, take a nap, etc.
8. Answer the call bell. Parents want clinicians to promptly answer their calls and come to their child’s room as soon as possible.
9. Clean our room. Hospital rooms become a patient and family’s home away from home, so clinicians should help them keep the space clean.
10. Recognize sleep is precious. Clinicians should let pediatric patients and their families sleep whenever possible and group medical tasks together, especially overnight, to avoid regular disturbances.
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