Within oncology nursing, many of us have the opportunity to talk with patients and family members over lengthy periods of time. We get to know our patients -- their hobbies, favorite music, and occupations. But this happens over time, and often, this personal information is lost between providers, especially as some develop stronger rapports with some patients than others.
Shouldn’t we know these things about each of our patients in order to help us to remember them as people? People we’re taking care of day in and day out?
The UCLA Health System nurses have developed Getting to Know You posters for patients in the ICU and other units, so that they're not talking about "the patient in bed 11," but rather, "a singer and mother of two."
The posters remain in patient rooms and move with them as they transition units -- they state things like occupations, family members, and hobbies that the patient has agreed to include on the poster. The personalized posters increased UCLA patient satisfaction scores by 60 percent because patients felt they were viewed more as the people they are rather than "just patients." With the personalized posters, patients shared the exact information they wanted posted, and the information was easily transferable to numerous healthcare providers.
Sixty percent improvement in patient satisfaction scores is a behemoth of a change. If this was, indeed, the only intervention at the time, this gives further strength to person-centered care models. My healthcare system utilizes a person-centered care model, but as far as I know, we do not go to this level of care with patients. It’s worth exploring, though, as patient satisfaction scores, or HCAHPS, continues to drive our healthcare work.
Does your organization do anything similar to UCLA’s “patient personalization posters” to enhance patient-centered care and refocus care back to the person rather than just the patient? If so, have you come across this kind of initiative within the oncology units?