Sharp Coronado Hospital makes its patients’ care and experience their number one priority. The administrators are willing to hear the good along with the bad to make sure they know what they are doing well and what needs improvement.
For this to happen they host a quarterly gathering, a Patient and Family Partnership Council, where former patients are invited and treated to a gourmet dinner prepared by the hospital’s hometown girl and executive chef, Meghan Bowen. The most recent event’s meal included ingredients from the hospital’s organic garden and local sustainable organic farms providing nutrient integrity. I was invited to listen and learn more about the event as I have been an ER patient so was able to share my experience.
Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer, Chris Walker, a former ICU nurse, shared that this event is put on so that the administrators can listen and discuss needs, care, and experiences with community members and patients. He said it was also about creating connections. He opened up the evening while the guests were eating the Nourish healthy and delicious meal by showing a video from the Cleveland Clinic, entitled Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care. It is a powerful video that I think everyone should watch.
Walker then shared that it is the goal of the administration to make sure Sharp Coronado provides “the best possible patient” experience. He told the guests about a program referred to as “Not About Me Without Me.” This means that the patient is included whenever their care is being discussed, whether that be during bedside handoff at shift change or during any plan of care meetings; also, the nurses do rounds with the doctors so they hear and can explain and answer questions for the patients. The next step will be adding the interdisciplinary care into rounding so case managers are hearing the doctors as well. This new program began in January and it is proving positive for patients and staff.
Several patients shared their stories, most of which were outstanding. One in particular though did not start out that way. Christopher Schiel, a member of the Harbor Patrol, and his wife Chanin shared his emergency room experience that could have cost him his life. His story began when he came down with a sudden onset fever of nearly 104 degrees with no other presenting symptoms. The physician who was working the ER sent him home. Christopher returned not long after and was subsequently admitted with an acute kidney infection and a large abscess on the organ. This was missed by the physician the first time. Christopher shared that after being admitted, what was the worst experience of his life became the best experience. He was cared for beyond his expectations and fully recovered. As for the ER doctor, an investigation was opened following protocol to ensure that this would not happen again. Chris Walker informed us of something many may not know – physicians do not work for the hospital, they are contracted out. When and if there are multiple situations where complaints are lodged against physicians from a contracted group, a new group is sought out for replacement.
Christopher’s unfortunate and horrific experience was followed by positive after positive story. Islander Wayne Strickland was very excited to share the success he is having with his new knee, having had the surgery performed at Sharp Coronado, and the excellent recovery process as an inpatient. Personally, my experience in the ER was efficient and quick in determining that I was not having a heart attack but rather just had a pulled muscle.
The staff is learning how to balance efficiency without pushing too hard, and making things go smoothly with compassionate and empathetic communication. Sharp Coronado wants its patients to feel like they have unlimited time with the physicians and that they are getting everything they need and feel satisfied and truly cared for. Walker wants all staff members to engage with patients with the question, “What is the one thing I can help you with right now?”
Before the evening concluded, guests were invited to read a card that each of us had been given during the event. The cards were quotes from patients and their care wishes. Mine was, “I wish for quiet and respect in my room.” Each of these wishes, which were read on camera, are being turned into a training video for the current staff, every single position, and all new hires. Walker believes this will be a way for anyone working with Sharp Coronado Hospital to understand the expectation of patient needs and care to be provided as a member of the hospital and care team.
It is clear to me that this administration seeks to provide outstanding patient experiences; which would explain why they are one of two hospitals in the nation to receive a gold patient designation four times now through PlaneTree.org, and they have been a designated patient-centered focus hospital since 2007. Excellence in medical and patient care is the daily goal at Sharp Coronado Hospital. We are lucky to have such a facility just minutes from most every home in town.
The administrators that were present, who are each an important part of the team and how the hospital operates, included: Julie Abraham – Director of Clinical Ancillary Services and Pharmacy; Jennifer Cordova – Manager of Rehab/Healthy Living Center; Ray Daniels – Manager of Cardio/Pulmonary; Hera Dore – Manager of Acute Care; Barbara Malebranche – Manager of Patient Relations & Administrative Relations; Christy Laflamme – Nurse ICU; Manisha Desai – Manager of Food Service; Victoria Risovanny – Acupuncturist in the Wellness Center and Meghan Bowen – Executive Chef. It was a comprehensive line up of those that make the hospital work effectively and efficiently.