14 things cancer patients want during a hospital stay

For patients hospitalized with cancer, attention to timing and quality communication from clinicians is key to giving them a better experience.

To improve patient experience, hospitals need to act on patient feedback, Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD and senior vice president for clinical safety at Minnetonka, Minn.-based UnitedHealthcare, wrote in a blog post for Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Medicine's Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality.

Dr. Pronovost helped compile "patient wish lists" using the most common pieces of feedback the hospital received from patient letters or surveys.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital Patient and Family Advisory Council developed individual patient wish lists to speak to their own patient populations' specific needs, including cancer patients, a spokesperson for Johns Hopkins Medicine told Becker's Hospital Review.  

Here are 14 things cancer patients said they wanted from clinicians during their time at the hospital:

1. Regard patients and their caregivers as partners in treatment, recovery and beyond.

2. Give patients time and focused attention to answer their questions and listen to their ideas.

3. Remember each patient's time has value and be honest about delays and expectations.

4. Address what matters most to patients; proactively manage their pain, engage them in their care.

5. When patients call for help, respond quickly.

6. Allow patients to sleep.

7. Make scheduling easy.

8. Be open to patients' desire for complementary medicine used with mainstream medical care, such as acupuncture.

9. Screen patients for stress, distress and depression.

10. Assist in coordinating and navigating care in a timely manner.

11. Reinforce the introduction of all medical providers to patients and their caregivers included in their care.

12. Update the white board in patient rooms and ensure name tags are visible.

13. Establish mutual communication methods and share all pertinent treatment information to enable patients to make informed decisions.

14. Ensure clear and transparent communications in care handoff among team members.

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