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Bedside Initiatives Aren't Just for Kids

Alexandra Wilson Pecci, for HealthLeaders Media, September 3, 2013

He points to the University of Pennsylvania Health System as an example, and as it turns out, it's the nurses there who are responsible for implementing and nurturing many of its patient- and family-centered efforts.

"Nurses really are doing so much," says Mary K. Walton MSN, MBE, RN, a nurse ethicist who spent 30 years in a pediatric setting before moving to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania (HUP), where she works as the director of Patient/Family Centered Care. "We have that 24/7 presence where we can really see the needs."

She tells me that the hospital in general, and nurses in particular, have been working for several years on patient- and family-centered care, having families present and involved in everything from nurse-to-nurse bedside rounds, to discharge planning, to resuscitation attempts. Such aspects of patient- and family-centered care are taken for granted at pediatric hospitals, but aren't as common at adult hospitals.

For instance, at HUP, family members can stay at a patient's bedside continuously if they want to, sleeping in one of the hospital's hundreds of bedside sleeping chairs. In fact, families aren't simply allowed to stay; "we welcome them. They're important to the patient, and they're important to us," Walton says.

Unit secretaries walk around to patients' bedsides to tell family members they can stay overnight; give out pillows, blankets, and sleeping chairs; and write down the names of anyone who's staying.

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1 comments on "Bedside Initiatives Aren't Just for Kids"


Robanai Disque (9/6/2013 at 12:45 PM)
I am all for kids and adults not being afraid to go to the doctor?hospital and for it to be a good experience. My question is how many kids who don't have insurance could have been taken care of with the cost of musical stairs? How many fish tanks (which have to be maintained),gadgets etc.Were any of the items donated, do volunteers maintain the fish tanks and equipment? Sometimes as Americans we set the bar high,then keep raising it and when is enough, enough? My children both had birth defects and went to a speciality pediatric hospital and they were perfectly happen with the large doll house that was donated by someone who made it and educational toys in a toy box.One of my children continued to go for 18 years to that hospital.