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A week dedicated to the patient experience

patient experience

During National Patient Experience Week last year, Food and Nutrition staff handed out treats as they rounded on patients each day. Laura Berardinelli, patient experience manager in Food and Nutrition, talked with a visitor during an event in the Smilow Cancer Hospital Healing Garden.

As an official health recognition week, Patient Experience Week is a relative newcomer. It was started in 2014 by the Beryl Institute, a global community of practice dedicated to improving the patient experience through collaboration and shared knowledge.

This year, National Patient Experience Week is the week of April 24. According to YNHH Patient Experience Manager Judy Catalano, "Yale New Haven Hospital has focused on the patient experience for several years now but a dedicated week is a great idea to heighten awareness and education." She described the patient experience as the whole range of interactions patients have with the healthcare system, including care from doctors, nurses and staff in hospitals and outpatient locations.

Understanding the patient experience is a key step in moving toward patient-centered care. Patient- and family-centered care is an approach to health care based on mutually beneficial partnerships among healthcare providers, patients and families. Based on dignity and respect, information sharing, participation and collaboration, patient-centered care is responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values.

Catalano emphasized that all staff and volunteers have a role in the patient experience. "Every touch point matters, because relationships are equally important and pivotal moments happen with non-clinical staff as well as clinical."

During the week, the Patient Experience department will host an information table that will honor Patient Experience Award for Caring and Excellence (PEACE) winners from the past year, share information about patient experience and feature an interactive display to solicit staffs' and patients' vignettes or thoughts about patient experience. Visit the display table near the East Pavilion cafeteria 11 am - 1 pm Tuesday, April 25, and in the Saint Raphael cafeteria 11 am - 1 pm Thursday, April 27.

"Another important goal of our first official Patient Experience Week at Yale New Haven Hospital is to recognize and thank all those who make a great patient experience – in both large and small ways," said Catalano.

YNHH began the monthly PEACE program in December 2015 to recognize the actions of employees who embody Yale New Haven Health System's values and standards of professional behavior. Employees who wish to recognize a colleague may submit a nomination by sending an email to [email protected]. Nominations should include the nominee's name, along with a specific story or example of how the employee exemplified a great patient experience.