Written by Stephanie Bale

Caring for families in grief

07/04/2015 1:35:02 PM | 0 comments |
"I followed the ambulance attendants as they wheeled Mom out of Ridge Meadows Hospital's Emergency Department, my body was shaking and tears were streaming down my cheeks. I had just been told that Mom only had days to live. I was wondering how I would make it to the ambulance when I felt an arm around my shoulders. It was Cassi Gray, the ER Manager. She didn't know me, but she knew I was someone in need of support. She walked with me to the hospital's front door, offering comforting words of understanding and sympathy. A couple of months have passed since that day. I don't remember what she said to me at the time, but I will never forget how she made me feel – that someone cared about me in my moment of intense grief," says Marie, Jean Nightingale’s daughter.

Cassi's emphatic caring that day exemplifies patient and family centred care – a priority for Fraser Health and for Ridge Meadows Hospital as it embraces its role as the pilot site for the health authority's targeted focus on ensuring the patient/family experience is at the heart of everything they do.

At the hospital, a cross-section of frontline staff, leaders and physicians have been collaborating to create a shared vision and site action plan to better support its health care team's ability to provide exceptional patient and family centred care.

Ridge Meadows Hospital is out of the gate with a number of initiatives being implemented including patient bedside whiteboards to improve communication with families, a new Family Visitor policy, Real Time Patient Experience Surveys, a Patient Advisor volunteer.

As these initiatives gear up, Ridge Meadows Hospital's Patient and Family Centred Care Committee continues its work to further develop and implement their site "Action Plan" to address the needs of RMH's patients, families and health care team.

"We highly value the efforts of our staff, physicians and volunteers to provide patient and family centred care," says Valerie Spurrell Executive Director RMH. "Our goal now is to improve our care environments, tools and communications together to better support our health care team to enhance the health care experiences of our patients and families."
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