Engaged in the experience: Patients, families, employees celebrate Patient Experience Week

May 1, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

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Well, that was quite an experience!

Last week, events across Michigan Medicine brought together faculty, staff, students, patients and families to discuss, celebrate and engage in all aspects of the patient experience.

Patient Experience Week kicked off with an interactive event focused on managing stress and burnout. Attendees had an opportunity to do a quick yoga session, participate in art therapy, and pick up some tips and tools to manage their stress while at work.

Departments such as Gifts of Art, Healing Touch, the Office of Counseling and Workplace Resilience, and Child and Family Life participated to make it an enriching and practical event for all who attended.

“It is so gratifying to experience clinicians and staff embracing the need for self-care,” said Julie Piazza, project manager and child and family life specialist with the Office of Patient Experience. “In our busy health care system, this is essential practice. Taking time to ensure that we are at our best allows us to support and facilitate patient experiences that exemplify best practice.”

For the first time, the Office of Patient Experience took Patient Experience Week to outpatient clinics across the region. For instance, staff, patients and families at the Brighton Center for Specialty Care, Northville Health Center, West Ann Arbor-Parkland Plaza and the Ypsilanti Health Center participated in this year’s celebration. Everyone had a chance to learn more about the resources available through OPE, volunteer and provide feedback.

The pediatric patients at the clinics also had a chance to interact with Child and Family Life specialists.

On Wednesday, OPE hosted a Patient Experience Learning Forum called “Cultural Humility for LGBTQ+ Patients in Health Care.”

During the event, a panel discussed LGBTQ+ patient and family experiences and discussed opportunities to improve care, communication and the experience for all. To hear more about the panelists and key highlights from the panel discussion, listen to the “Week of April 22, 2019” episode of The Wrap at the bottom of the story.

The week culminated with its biggest event, the 3rd Annual Patient Experience Expo. This year, nearly 400 attendees had an opportunity to visit more than 35 departments and programs that represent all aspects of the patient experience.

“There are so many resources here that I wanted to learn about — and this was an easy and convenient way to do just that,” said Portia Bonner, an administrative assistant with the Division of Gastroenterology.

Bonner attended the expo, which had a few new groups this year, including the Quality Department, Depression Center and Rewrite the Script.

“We recently updated our toolkit for patients and families,” said Danielle Taubman from the Depression Center. “The expo has been the perfect place for us to share this toolkit and other resources with employees, so they can be confident in passing along our information to those who need it.”

Jessica Connolly from Rewrite the Script said her team was there for similar reasons.

“Our entire initiative is about helping patients manage their pain better,” Connolly said. “We need everyone at Michigan Medicine to be aware of this initiative so individuals get the proper care that they deserve.”

Finally, some saw the expo as a way to celebrate the partnership between patients and caregivers.

“So many of the resources here were developed thanks to patients and families telling us what they need,” said Lori-Jene Brazier, a chaplain in the Spiritual Care Department. Brazier attended with Anna the facility dog. “When we all listen to one another, we create a health care system that works for everyone.”

Thank you to all who participated in Patient Experience Week and to everyone who contributes to the patient experience every day!

Save the date for Patient Experience Week 2020 – April 20 – 24!