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Hospital Focus Misdirected Toward Parents, Survey Suggests

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 28, 2011

The good news, she says, is that any disconnect between children and their hospital experience can be quickly addressed. For example, Ryan-Wegner says hospitals should consider using their interactive patient care systems and intranet to ask children at least once a day about their experiences, positive and negative. "The nurses can look at those responses and managed the care accordingly."

Ryan-Wegner recommends putting a white board in patients' rooms to help children communicate their concerns. "It could be the Top 3 Things that you should know about me. For example, 'Don't call me Sweetie. Call me by my name,'" she says. "Little things that we might not think are important may be important to children. Why not tailor your care to things that are most important to them?"

Ryan-Wegner says a child's experience as a hospital patient could have lifelong implications. "Depending upon how positive or negative their hospital experience is, it may have an effect on their future, on their use of healthcare, even decisions about whether to go into healthcare or not."

"If you ask many nurses or physicians, they said they wanted to become a physician or a nurse because of a positive hospital experience. It may influence their own healthcare decisions in the future."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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2 comments on "Hospital Focus Misdirected Toward Parents, Survey Suggests"


Heidi Lee Sinclair, MD, MPH (9/30/2011 at 12:38 PM)
when my son was in the NICU it made me mad that the Neonatologist never met with me until the day my son was being discharged (day 20) never made eye-contact and kept calling me "mom" and didn't call my baby by name either ... i make it a point to always address patient and parent BY NAME - and ask to make sure I have the name right - what they preferred to be called ... i think this is basic respect

Scott (9/28/2011 at 9:51 AM)
Interesting article, I can say that the issue transcends into many care specialties. While I do not work in peds, I can say that a similar event occurs from time to time in Long Term Care. While we do speak of "patient" satisfaciton, some forget that the patient is still there despite their physical and or mental deterioration. Sometimes too the tail (family) wags the dog. Othertimes discussions occur to the "family" about the patient, even when the patient is right there. I know this happens in many areas of healthcare. Also, in LTC it is often asked was the family notified and the answer is always "yes" updates but some forget to update resident who is the one being impacted most.