Many healthcare organizations talk about providing patient-centered care. But what does that really mean? At Edward-Elmhurst health, we believe it begins with empowering people to take part in the healthcare experience.
From the start, Edward-Elmhurst Health has embraced patient-centered care. In fact, Edward Hospital was one of the first hospitals in DuPage County to provide private patient rooms. And Elmhurst Hospital was built to create a healing environment with private rooms, large windows, extensive natural light and space for families.
But it’s not just about creating a beautiful environment – we make sure patients have the best possible experience from the time they walk in the door through every follow-up appointment.
It’s not uncommon for patients to feel scared when they arrive at the hospital. They don’t always understand what’s happening to them, and they’re afraid to speak up. At Edward-Elmhurst Health, we want patients to be active participants on the care team. We don’t want them to feel as though they’re just having things done to them – we want them to be part of the care process and understand why they’re getting certain tests, what the doctors are looking for, the pros and cons of different treatments and what happens after they go home. By removing the unknowns, we can help patients feel more comfortable during their stay.
We take extra time to listen to patients and tailor care to their individual needs. For example, if a patient prefers to take medication at a particular time, we want to know that information so we can create a schedule that works for the patient. If a patient follows a special diet, we want to know about it so we can adjust their meals accordingly. If a patient has special spiritual needs, we can accommodate them. We also have therapy dogs that can visit patients who wish for a little comfort in the form of a furry friend.
Families and caregivers play an important role in a patient’s recovery, and we want them to be as involved as the patient wants. Our private rooms have space for family to stay as well as additional space for families and patients to socialize and have meals together. Family members can also serve as members of the care team and be there to hear about the care process and next steps after going home.
We believe it’s possible to have an efficient healthcare organization while also providing the highest level of care for patients. You have to decide what’s important – and for us it’s the patient experience. We know there is less infection when patients have clear instructions for taking care of themselves and all caregivers understand the care process. Our patients have a better understanding of what to do when they go home, which means fewer re-hospitalizations. Best of all, patients are less afraid and more confident in the care provided so they can achieve their best health.