Here at HHS, our patients are at the heart of everything we do. In honor of Patient Appreciation Week, we want to take a moment to recognize our patients by hearing from the team members who serve them each and every day.
We’ve reached out to some of our directors and front line team members around the country to ask what they do to make each patient experience a positive one. While everyone had their own great tips and unique approaches, the general sentiment was the same: be positive, treat each patient as an individual, and provide them with the care that you want for yourself or your family members.
We understand that a hospital stay is often a difficult or trying time, so it is our job to do everything that we can to make the patient experience as pleasant and enjoyable as possible.
David Sadera, a Regional Director in Texas, summed it up nicely: “I’ve found that the most successful patient service individuals all say the same thing: 'Imagine for a moment that was your mother in that bed. How far would you go to ensure she is comfortable, cared for and respected?' Then I go and act that way with my patients.”
Read on for more patient engagement and hospitality tips from members of the HHS team.
Tips on improving the patient experience from some of our outstanding team members:
"The most important thing you can do for a patient is just to be positive. Actually listen to them when they have a complaint. Sometimes they just need to know that someone cares. They really appreciate when you remember their preferences. Little things, like bringing them milk because you remember they enjoyed it yesterday. They really notice that you are paying attention to their needs."
- Melissa Collins, Patient Ambassador, team member since May 2015
"I love to share stories with patients and do whatever I can to make them laugh.”
- Marlene Hernandez, Housekeeper, team member since 2013
“Seeing a patient smile and appreciate the efforts I make to improve their day is what motivates me. I always offer to get coffee or water for each patient that is allowed to have it. Many patients see this small service as something that makes our hospital stand above others.”
- Brad Cooper, EVS Director, team member since 2012
“It is important to develop personal relationships with patients so we can customize their care to make them as happy and comfortable as possible. Meal time is the best part of many patients’ days, and it feels great to get to be a part of that.”
- Joshua Radosevich, Culinary Director, team member since 2012
"I like to make patients feel as though they are in a clean and relaxing home environment.”
- Aixa Morales, Housekeeper, team member since February 2015
"I always enjoy finding out where the patients are from, and I love making their room so clean they ask if I can go home and clean their house!"
- Terry Klump, Housekeeper, team member since 2011
"The most important thing I can do for a patient is just to smile and use a calm and welcoming voice. Everyone else is rushing in and out and most times they don't even know who is in their room. So I take the time to introduce myself and tell them how I am going to take care of them. I offer to open blinds, prop them up to be more comfortable, ask how they are doing, and let them I will keep them in my thoughts when they say they don't feel well.”
- David Sadera, Regional Director, team member since 2005
"I thoroughly enjoy the interactions I have with my patients and the friendships that are made. The biggest tip I can give is to listen to each patient and to have compassion. Always greet them with a smile and have a positive attitude. If I see a need for a patient I will try my best to help without them having to ask. Sometimes pride can get in the way of a patient asking for help or even additional food, so I try to be proactive in offering them what they may need.”
- Hyesha Perrett, Patient Ambassador , team member since May 2015
"Making our guests happy is my number one priority. The most important aspects for providing great patient care are patience, understanding, compassion, and sympathy. Pay attention to detail and make the short time you’re there with them memorable can make a big difference in their day. When we have a patient celebrating a birthday in the hospital, we make a special dessert in accordance with their diet, which always brings a smile to their face."
- Michael Shults, Director of Food and Nutritional Services, team member since April 2015
"Be kind -- kindness is free! It costs you nothing to walk into a patient’s room, look them in the eye, greet them by name, and say “Good Morning” like you mean it. When you enter a room the patient should feel like they are the only person who matters in that moment."
- Jennifer Bedair, Patient Ambassador, team member since August 2015
"The most important thing you can do for a patient is to be welcoming, comforting and as inviting as you possibly can be. Always make the extra effort. Anything you can do that will make them feel like they are your only patient is worth it."
- Kacey Lee, Diet Clerk, team member since June 2015
"Providing excellent service is not a tangible thing. It is the belief that going above and beyond the call of duty is a normal, everyday activity. Sure, we run in to some challenging customers, but having the determination to win that challenging customer over is what sets our team apart."
- Ted Peters, Director of Food and Nutrition , team member since 2012