Almost two years ago, UF Health launched our Hospitality and Service initiative to encourage a culture where every staff member provides and every patient receives hospitable and welcoming care and attention. To date, we have trained more than 11,000 employees and faculty members in standards of behaviors covering four themes: hospitality, teamwork, communications, and professionalism and responsibility. But that is just the start.
Over the next few months, we will begin to roll out hospitality huddles, which are intended to bolster and support many of the positive behaviors that were included in the training. Other tools such as scripting, TeamSTEPPS training, and Key Words at Key Times are also being launched to help UF Health become more patient-centered.
The Institute of Medicine defines patient-centered care as “providing care that is respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs and values, and ensuring that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” What does this really mean? We need to listen to our patients’ concerns and provide thoughtful responses, take the time to locate a medical interpreter for patients or families who do not speak English, understand and respect cultural differences, ensure a well-planned and timely discharge and, most importantly, communicate effectively not only to the patient, but also to each other.
Perhaps the best way to think about how to be more patient-centered is to treat each patient exactly as you would like yourself or someone you love to be treated.