patient experience

YNHH's Shared Governance surgical cluster wanted to do more to improve communication among patients, their families and clinicians. One team's project, "Using Epic Technology to Keep Patients and Families Informed," received best practice honors at the conference. The team created an Epic report, "Keeping You Informed," that helps patients and their healthcare partners better understand their care. Team members included (l-r): Ashley Lupo, RN, Mark Schoell, Stephanie Hedberg, RN, Leslie Hutchins, RN, and Diana Rivera, RN.

The 2015 Yale New Haven Health System Patient Experience Conference Oct. 29 at Webster Bank Arena examined how clinical and non-clinical staff play pivotal roles in the patient experience. More than 1,000 staff from across the system learned from guest speakers as well as each other.

Patient advocate and artist Regina Holliday related her personal mission to drive change in health care after her husband experienced poor care coordination, a lack of access to his healthcare data and a series of medical errors before dying of cancer. She put her art to work, painting murals in Washington, DC, on health care and patients' rights themes and starting the Walking Gallery, in which she and volunteers paint jackets and lab coats with stories about patient and national health issues and healthcare reform. During the conference, Holliday painted a jacket for YNHHS' Michael Bennick, MD, Patient Experience Council chairman. She urged healthcare providers to involve patients in their care.

patient experience

Helping patients stay well was the focus of a best-practice project from Yale New Haven Health System called "Emmi Solutions for Patient Engagement and Education." The project consisted of three pilot campaigns launched with the support of 16 providers with Northeast Medical Group for patients requiring important preventive, follow-up care. Team members included (standing, l-r): Tim Cooney, Arnold DoRosario, MD, Becky Tylutki, Sandy Elkin-Randi, Kelly Foss, Peggy Simonette, RN, Jeanette Bogdan, RN, and Michael Bennick, MD; and (seated, l-r): Paula Crombie, Pete Kenyon, Amanda Skinner, RN, Lisa Stump and Jeanne Radawich.

As medical director with the Division of Healthcare Improvement at The Joint Commission, Ronald Wyatt, MD, began his talk on the quest for quality in the nation's hospitals by remarking on the significance of the afternoon's panel. It included five, non-clinical inspirational caregivers representing Bridgeport, Greenwich and Yale New Haven hospitals, Northeast Medical Group and YNHHS.

"The way I look at it, my job is to keep things working so that clinical staff can do their jobs. Otherwise it's time taken away from patients and the care they need," said  panelist Clarke Foster, YNHHS senior desktop support technician, Information Technology Services.

"If it weren't for the people who work and clean, who fix your meals, the people who were [on the panel], you wouldn't have a health system. Value them," Dr. Wyatt said. He acknowledged that striving for quality involves paying close attention to Press Ganey and HCAHPS scores, but cautioned the audience to find balance. "You have healthcare jobs, but the work you do is health. That's what matters to the patient, families and staff. We're in the business of what matters to patients. Then, you can start working on quality," he said.

Awards were presented to the top two poster abstracts from each delivery network. Best practice for Yale New Haven Hospital went to the team project, "Using Epic Technology to Keep Patients and Families Informed." Honorable mention was given to "Fun with Food in the Yale New Haven Children's Hospital." For Yale New Haven Health System, the best practice award went to "Emmi Solutions for Patient Engagement Education," and honorable mention to "Increasing Access to Cancer Screening Services in New Haven."