7,000 staff and volunteers make a difference one patient at a time

Rona Lis makes us do a double take.
Rona Lis makes us do a double take.

The JGH Office of Patient Experience might be difficult to imagine in action. We might not hear about or see concrete changes in our departments, units or offices—especially now, at the very beginning of the project—but changes aren’t being carried out from a work station hidden away. Rather, the Office is coordinating staff and volunteers, as well as projects and committees, to intensify the impact each person has on the patient’s experience on any given day.

In October, life-sized photos of eleven staff members and volunteers were mounted on floor-to-ceiling windows and on elevator doors in some of the hospital’s busiest areas. While this promoted the launch of the Office, the publicity serves a larger purpose. These eleven staff are just a handful of the countless contributors to the patient experience at the JGH. Each person featured has their own story to tell and defines the exceptional patient experience in their own way, based on personal and professional experiences only they have lived.

Rona Lis, team leader in Orthopedics

My life-long connection to the hospital began when I was born at the JGH. When my mother was diagnosed with cancer fifteen years later, it brought us back. Though she passed away within a matter of weeks, the care we got from the nurses, doctors, social workers, receptionists and so many others during our short time at the JGH had a lasting impression. From then on, I always knew that I wanted to work here, to help people and, in some way, be able to return my experience—all because of what they did for us.

Working here, we all understand that coming to the hospital can be scary for patients and their loved ones. They feel nervous, so maybe we can offer that extra little bit of care and attention that makes them feel secure, so that they are reassured that things are going to be okay, and that you understand.

My desire to help people extends beyond my department. I like to make sure we provide a positive experience because of my own relationship and history with the hospital. It doesn’t take much to put someone at ease. I keep an eye out for anyone who looks lost, and keep my ears open for anyone who must just need some guidance.

Now that I’ve realized my dream to work here and to work closely with patients, it feels like home. I can’t imagine working anywhere else.

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