December 2012
Swank Health: Your monthly news from Swank HealthCare


Swank HealthCare


In This Issue
April 2014

Did You Know?

Understanding Patient Fear and Addressing Empathy: A Conversation with Colleen Sweeney

Top List

10 great ways to cultivate empathy

What's Going On?

HCAHPS Breakthrough Webinar Series

Recommended Readings
Now Trending

I am the Patient Experience

Where in the World is Swank HealthCare

AONE 2014 - Orlando, Florida


Recommended Courses*
  • Communication #314513, #51613
  • Family Dynamics: Communication/Listening #315212, #62512
  • Family Dynamics: Communication/Family Relationships #31013, #60413
  • Mindfulness Practices for Professionals #32613
  • Patient-Provider Communication#41412
  • Communication and Interpersonal Skills #44411

* course numbers may vary by facility


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Did You Know

Understanding Patient Fear and Addressing Empathy: A Conversation with Colleen Sweeney (Part 2 of Our 2-Part Series)


Colleen Sweeney

We recently talked with Colleen Sweeney of Sweeney Healthcare Enterprises about her work coaching healthcare professionals to be mindful of patient fears and exercise empathy in their interactions. In Part 1 of this conversation (March 2014), Ms. Sweeney addressed the importance of recognizing and understanding fear from the patient’s perspective. In Part 2, she discusses how healthcare professionals can change their behaviors to deliver the best patient care.

Question
What actions do you encourage Education Professionals to take to better address patient empathy in their facilities?
Answer
As healthcare professionals, we have traditionally been good at the clinical piece. When it comes to quality we are the best in the world. What we need to do is raise awareness and train employees around the whole empathic piece. First and foremost, we have to hire people with a huge capacity for empathy. That’s number one. I have very strong feelings about guarding our front door. We talk about training employees that we already have. We do a lot of measuring and surveying and we throw a lot of money on the back end, but we put very little on the front end and guarding our gates really well. I feel very strongly about the on-boarding process and how we hire.

Once we’ve hired, we have to train people to get inside the head of the patient and feel what they’re feeling. Then we need to put resources at the fingertips of professionals so that when someone says cost is their biggest concern or loneliness is their biggest concern, the clinician knows what resources are available. Hospitals are like little cities; we have every resource available to us. We have lawyers, chefs, security, doctors, nurses, financial professionals, engineers. We have all of these people at our ready and a lot of times we don’t know how to access them. We have to put this information at the fingertips of clinicians to use when patients voice a concern or fear around their hospitalization.

Basically hospitals need to hire well, to train well, and to give clinicians the resources they need to take care of patients.
Question
How do you think we should change the education curriculum and delivery in hospitals today?
Answer
We have to rethink education and how to reach the audience. Millennials bring so much to the table. We have to learn how to tap into the wealth of knowledge and expertise they bring. We need to think about how we reach them— it has to be experientially. As a generation, they are very visual so we have to change our delivery mode when it comes to education.

Just like we’re trying to re-create the patient experience, we need to re-create the caregiver experience. We need to think totally differently about the plan of care because right now we think that working harder, faster, longer is the answer. When we realize that we’ve hit the wall and there’s so much burnout that people are opting out of healthcare for other careers, we’ll rethink it and we’ll get better. We’ll get there but we’ll get there by deduction.
Question
What’s next for Sweeney Healthcare Enterprises?
Answer
The next thing we want to do is help hospitals and medical practices implement the process of addressing patient fears electronically. There is plenty of angst about the electronic health record (EHR). The thing that will change our perception of EHR implementation is when we begin to make it work for us, and therefore the patient.

We have piloted a process of including a mandatory electronic field in the EHR asking the patient about their fears. Then we use the EHR to put resources at the fingertips of clinicians so when someone needs to be notified, whether it be chaplain services or whatever, it is taken care of electronically and the patient can be assured that someone has already been notified. We also make available prompts, or scripts, via drop-down boxes so nurses can provide immediate comfort to patients, such as “You have options. Someone will be here to talk to you. We can take care of that for you. Someone has been notified.” This work is bringing the project full circle to improve the patient experience.

We think of the EHR as something that has bogged us down and it’s just one more thing, but when we start to think differently about it and when we get better at it--when we start to use it for things that really matter to the patient and really change the care experience both on the clinicians’ end and the patients’ end--we will start to see it differently. We’re not quite there yet.

For more information, visit sweeneyhealthcareenterprises.com.


What's Going On?

HCAHPS Breakthrough Webinar Series

As a Swank HealthCare customer, you can register for our HCAHPS Breakthrough Webinar Series at no cost to you! All webinars are scheduled for Tuesdays at 2 pm CST

Topic

Date

Responsiveness of Staff

April 8, 2014

Transition of Care

May 13, 2014

Overall Rating

June 10, 2014

Willingness to Recommend

July 8, 2014

Click here to register
(a value of $500)

Enter sponsor code SWANK

Recommended Readings

Recommended Viewing


No Hidden Fees:
In the last 5 years, no customer has been charged additional fees for reports, support calls, content uploads or refresher training.


Top 10 List

10 great ways to cultivate empathy

Empathy is an essential element of compassionate care. Research shows that greater empathy is associated with fewer medical errors, better patient outcomes, fewer malpractice claims, and greater satisfaction on the part of the patient and care provider. Here are 10 great ways to cultivate empathy.

1. Develop a keen emotional awareness. Most people identify emotions very generally, using terms such as: sad, mad, or happy. However, they’re usually much more specific. Instead of sad, the true feeling may be disappointed, frightened, rejected, lonely, or helpless. Look deeper at happy and you’re likely to find peaceful, relieved, energized, refreshed, or proud.

2. Broaden your cultural boundaries. Get to know people of different ages, socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, professions, religions, and sexual orientations.

3. Walk a mile in another’s shoes. When medical students are required to spend the night in the hospital, they report a greater sensitivity to the patient experience.

4. Practice attentive listening. Eliminate distractions and focus your attention to what the other person is saying. Pay attention to the person’s tone, inflection, mannerisms, and facial expressions. Ask open-ended questions. Seek to understand, not only what the person is saying, but also the opinions, thoughts, and feelings associated with it.

5. Pay attention to your body language. Communication is only 15% of what a person says, and 85% how a person says it through body language and tone. Face the person, lean in, stay relaxed and unhurried. Don’t fidget or do anything that could show disinterest.

6. Convey understanding and concern. Cognitive empathy is the ability to identify and understand other peoples’ emotions. Affective empathy is the feelings we get in response to others’ emotions. To improve relationships, both are important. Use phrases such as, “I’m so sorry…it sounds like you’ve been very frustrated” or “I’m really relieved to hear you’re feeling better…”

7. Offer support. There’s no greater way to show empathy than to offer your help. For example: “I don’t want you to be frightened. I’m going to stay with you throughout the procedure and I’ll make sure we go at a pace you’re comfortable with. How does that sound?”

8. Look for empathy role models. We all know people with a gift for empathy and compassion. Spend time watching them with other people. Pay attention to their body language and tone. Practice modeling what you learn.

9. Avoid judgment. Culture, past experiences, and personal values play an important role in forming the way an individual reacts to or feels about a set of circumstances. Be respectful of others’ emotions, thoughts, and opinions especially when they differ from the way you might think or feel in a similar situation.

10. Avoid compassion fatigue. If your emotional tank is empty, you can’t be emotionally available to others. Get plenty of rest and exercise to relieve stress. Journal or talk it out with a trusted family member or friend when something is troubling you. Pray, meditate, or join a discussion group. Find the positives in the worst of situations, look for reasons to celebrate, and have an attitude of gratitude.


Now Trending

I am the Patient Experience

Swank HealthCare is a proud sponsor of The Beryl Institute’s Patient Experience Conference! As a sponsor, we share their commitment to spread the faces of the patient experience. It doesn’t matter what role you serve, if you work in the healthcare field, you play an important part in someone’s life.

We invite you to download the blank "I am the Patient Experience” card from The Beryl Institute’s website and snap a photo of yourself and your colleagues. When done, you can tweet it to #IMPX and/or email it to info@theberylinstitute.org with the subject line "IMPX" and share your commitment to be the patient experience. You can also see the faces of "I am the Patient Experience" on Facebook. You can also click here to view the 2013 Patient Experience video.

We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us this year!


Where in the World is Swank HealthCare?

AONE 2014
Orlando, Florida


We had a great time at the annual AONE 2014 Conference in Orlando this year! As promised, there were an exceptional array of speakers and attendees who were focused on the theme of “Inspiring Leadership.” We left feeling inspired and hope that you did too.

If you were there, we hope that you were able to stop by the Swank HealthCares booth. For everyone that stopped by and signed our display, we promised to donate $1.00 to the March of Dimes. Swank HealthCare was so inspired from the conference, that the company decided to match each signature and we will be donating $500.00 to the March of Dimes.

It was great to meet everyone. Thanks for all of your signatures and we hope to see you again next year!


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What's Coming up?

Skylight Client Conference

Nov. 20-22, 2013
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego, CA

With the national healthcare dialog focusing on patient engagement and the patient experience, Skylight HealthCare System's 7th Annual Client Conference includes best practice demonstrations on how their clients have used the Skylight system to make real improvements in HCAHPS scores, patient satisfaction, clinical outcomes and enhanced operational and service excellence.

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What's Coming up?

HCAHPS Breakthrough Webinar Series

As a Swank HealthCare customer, you can register for our HCAHPS Breakthrough Webinar Series at no cost to you!

All webinars are scheduled for Tuesdays at 2 pm CST

Topic

Date

Communication with Doctors

November 12, 2013

Communication with Nurses

December 10, 2013

Discharge Information

January 14, 2014

Pain Control

March 11, 2014

Responsiveness of Staff

April 8, 2014

Transition of Care

May 13, 2014

Overall Rating

June 10, 2014

Willingness to Recommend

July 8, 2014

Register Now
Enter sponsor code SWANK

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Coming Soon

Safety Storm 2014 is on the way! Our comprehensive Regulatory Training program helps you meet hospital accreditation requirements and CMS compliance, while easily adding your own facility-specific content. Clinical and non-clinical staff will receive engaging information on the topics they must be proficient in, such as:

The training curriculum is updated annually in January to reflect updated regulations. Courses are available in English and Spanish and may be accessed online in video, audio or text so staff may view, listen or read the training depending on their preferred learning style.

Stay tuned for more information about Safety Storm 2014 next month!

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Top 10 List

Top 10 Patient Safety Practices with Low Cost Estimates for Implementation as sited by the AHRQ report, Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices.

  1. High-alert drugs: patient safety practices for intravenous anticoagulants
  2. Interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance
  3. Reducing unnecessary urinary catheter use and other strategies to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections
  4. Preoperative checklists and anesthesia checklists to prevent a number of operative safety events, such as surgical site infections and wrong site surgeries
  5. Use of beta blockers to prevent perioperative cardiac events
  6. Strategies to increase appropriate prophylaxis for venous thromboembolism
  7. Ensuring documentation of patient preferences for life-sustaining treatment such as advanced directives
  8. Promoting engagement by patients and families to reduce adverse events (such as patients encouraging providers to wash their hands)
  9. Obtaining informed consent from patients to improve patient understanding potential risks of medical procedures
  10. Interventions to prevent tubing misconnections

Source: Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices. March 2013. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/research/findings/evidence-based-reports/ptsafetysum.html

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Where in the World is
Swank HealthCare?

Relationship-Based Care Symposium
Huron, Ohio

Swank HealthCare attended the Relationship-Based Care Symposium September 9-13 in Huron, Ohio. This international conference focused on "Showcasing Bold and Courageous Leadership in Health Care: Making the Quality, Safety, and Business Case for Compassion." During the conference, Swank HealthCare was honored to contribute to the Speaker's Panel on "Technology and Human Connection: Best Practices for Integration of High Tech and High Touch," featuring new and innovative approaches in using technology that strengthen communication, connection and partnership with patient and family.

Attendees were encouraged to become part of the discussion around technology development and were provided strategies for working with IT partners and senior management. On a clinical practice level, training and education was encouraged to establish best practices ensuring patient and family comfort with healthcare technology.

Swank HealthCare Marketing Manager Lynelle Korte joined Deb Brisch-Cramer, Patient Experience Improvement Coach with TruthPoint, and James Dias, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of wellbe.me, as the speakers for the question-and-answer session moderated by Margo Karsten, President and Consultant for Creative Health Care Management.

Swank HealthCare also sponsored a book-signing immediately following Keynote Speaker Brené Brown's inspirational talk on vulnerability. Dr. Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston-Graduate College of Social Work and has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame. Her 2010 TEDxHouston talk on the power of vulnerability is one of TED's most watched talks. Dr. Brown has appeared on Oprah, Katie, The Today Show, and other major media outlets.

Dr. Brown encouraged attendees to explore their feelings of vulnerability, explaining that although it is at the core of difficult emotions, it also is the birthplace of creativity and innovation, authenticity, adaptability to change and accountability. All of these behaviors can lead to improved performance in healthcare delivery and ultimately a better patient experience.

The Swank HealthCare team was delighted to provide conference attendees with one-on-one access to Dr. Brown and to encourage further engagement with her and her most recent book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, and Lead.

For more information on the Relationship-Based Care Symposium and the Technology Panel specifically, please visit www.chcm.com. To learn more about Dr. Brown, go to www.brenebrown.com/books/. To consider Swank HealthCare courses that promote professional development or for more information on how the HCAHPS Performance Improvement Series can help educate staff on patient experience management, please contact your Account Manager at 1-800-950-4248.

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