Leverage Patient-Care Team Relationships to Co-Design Ideal Experiences

Engaging with patients and care teams in the development of new experiences creates immense value. It not only provides an opportunity to bring all stakeholders to the table to drive change, but it leverages the incredibly valuable shared experience of being cared for and providing care. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Royal Hospital for Children saw the patient-care team relationship as a way to improve anesthesia care for operative childrens patients. They saw this as a time to shadow patients and utilize “What Matters?” staff surveying to identify opportunities to improve patient feelings in anesthesia, lighting, sustainability, and any other suggestions. Information collected from patients and staff were used to redesign the anesthesia rooms and intake process to provide the best possible experience for pediatric patients and their families. 

The care team engaged with medical students to shadow and understand the patient experience, what went well and opportunities to improve. Shadowing patients and processes not only allows for time study and process information to be collected, but also allows for the patients and families feelings to be tied into the process. This is especially critical when redesigning healthcare processes to be more person-centered. The shadowing observations revealed that patients value artwork along corridors and within anesthesia rooms, distraction techniques such as musical toys, a noise machine, stuffed animals, and images of teddy bears on masks to make the experience less scary. By having providers be actively involved in the shadowing process, now members of the care team know what matters most to patients and can better serve them. 

The shared experience between providers and patients is evident through the anesthesia teams “What Matters?” survey results. Patient feedback while shadowing showed that efforts made by the care team to make patients feel comfortable were valuable. Key staff feedback revealed the same wants and needs of making patients and families feel more valuable in the anesthesia rooms. They specifically wanted to make the space less clinical, implement more comfortable lighting, and decrease noise and interruptions. The opportunities identified by providers identify that they are cued into the experiences of patients, indicative of the deeper relationship present and ability to have empathy for patients and families.

Value in healthcare is often defined by outcomes and cost, but a Harvard Business Review article reveals that in a handful of organizations value is believed to be driven by patient-care team relationships. The Royal Hospital for Children demonstrates how relationships can drive value in specialty services, but long-term relationships (such as with a primary care provider) can inspire behavior change and improve health of patients through time - effectively reducing cost and improving outcomes. Taking the time to understand your patient by walking in their shoes and asking “What Matters to You?” allows for a deeper understanding which can lead to the creation of long-lasting relationships and development of care plans that work best for patients in the way that meets their individual needs. 

Develop relationships with your patients by asking them “What Matters to You?” and use goShadow’s tools to get started. 

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Posted on

February 18, 2022