November 24, 2015

Providing Patient-Based Care During the Holidays

We hope you had a happy Thanksgiving. Can you believe 2016 is just around the corner?

The holidays are here, and the last place anyone wants to be this time of year is as a patient at a hospital. That said, the holidays also bring an increase in patients seeking elective surgery, most likely due to the recovery time. Thanks to time off work and being surrounded by family members, it’s the best time of year for many. Some studies have shown that surgeries can increase up to 20% during the holidays.

As physicians and healthcare leaders, it’s our job to bring holiday cheer to each and every one of our patients. As we all know, There’s no place like home for the holidays, so while the hospital might be far from home, being home isn’t an option for all patients. It’s our job to ease their pain and be their home away from home.

In fact, you have likely heard of some of the things hospitals have been doing to bring joy to patients, visitors and employees during the holiday season.

During Thanksgiving, for instance, some healthcare leaders have found ways to incorporate food and gratitude into the days of patients and employees.

Employees at Chifton Medical Center, for example, are treated to free meals throughout the day, featuring Thanksgiving favorites, like turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Some hospitals serve Thanksgiving-meals to patients without restricted diets. Decorations on food trays and holiday notes are also becoming increasingly popular. Everyone wants to give thanks this season, and at the NICU unit at St. Charles Health System in Bend, Oregon, families write things they’re thankful for on paper turkeys and hang them near their babies’ beds.

What about Christmas and Hanukkah?

Many hospitals have gone above and beyond to make patients feel at home during Christmas and Hanukkah with elaborate decorations to brighten the day for patients and employees. Also at the NICU unit at St. Charles Health System, Santa Claus takes first Christmas pictures with the babies, and families make ornaments and enjoy special treats from the hospital, like sugar cookies and hot chocolate.

More and more, hospitals are making efforts to provide patient-centered care, and making patients feel at home during the holidays is just one of the many ways to improve the patient experience.

Can you think of another way for hospitals to improve the patient experience during the holidays? Let us know on Linked In, Facebook or Twitter!

COORS uses communication and recognition/celebration to drive the change process. We measure and implemented changes while coaching and communication techniques are integrated throughout the entire engagement.


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