The little things that go above and beyond the basic behaviors to create a “personal” experience or “wow” for each patient are important. These small but significant actions can make a big difference in patients’ perceptions of each encounter with a care provider. Individual staff members don’t have to wait for the whole facility to launch one of the best practices, they can create a change one provider and one patient/family at a time. Choose one new thing to implement each month.
- Commit to Sit - Sitting down for even a minute and making eye contact can convey caring and send the message that you have time to listen.
- Pay Attention to the Pillow - Think about how nice a great pillow feels. Hospital pillows are notoriously flat and hard, add a second pillow or flip the pillow to the cool side.
- The Power of the Warm Blanket - Consider blanket warmers in all patient care areas so that the comfort of a warm blanket is readily available to anyone who feels chilly.
- Custom Rounding Cart/Tote - Know your population and the typical comfort care items that they need and build a cart or tote that has the basics. Saves you steps and offers immediate support.
- While You Were Sleeping - Sometimes patients sleep right through your visits and don’t know you were there. Consider leaving a small table tent or note card so they know you were there. Maybe a comfort item too, such as fresh iced water, lotion or another item that you know they appreciate.
- Family and Friends Matter - Use your processes or resources to reach out to patients’ families and friends and update them before they have to ask. Find out when they will be visiting and available to answer questions. Document the activities and progress for their family member in the available patient portal.