Tag Archives: Patient- and Family-Centered Care

CHOG awarded for patient-centric imaging

GRHealth has earned a Patient-Centric Imaging Award from Health Imaging magazine for its makeover of the pediatric imaging suite at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. The awards, developed in conjunction with the American College of Radiology, reinforce the importance of patient engagement in health care delivery and honor radiology groups for using imaging to improve quality and patient outcomes.

This is the second award for GRHealth – the first was earned in 2013 for patient care advances in the Breast Health Center.
“We are thrilled to be recognized again by Health Imaging for our efforts in improving the patient experience in radiology. But, by far, the most rewarding part is seeing the children smiling and laughing while they’re here. It’s like they are disappointed when they have to leave.” said Dr. James V. Rawson, chair of the Department of Radiology and Imaging at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University.

A pioneer in Patient- and Family-Centered Care, GRHealth has long recognized the importance of including patients and families in the planning process. In fact, the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, which opened in 1998, was one of the first GRHealth projects designed with explicit input of patients and families, and CHOG was twice recognized with design awards from Modern Healthcare Magazine and the American Institute of Architects Academy.

This interactive wall in the main patient lounge in pediatric imaging allows children to set things in motion, like these balloons floating through the air.

“So it was only natural to ask the experts – our young patients and their parents – when we embarked on the pediatric radiology redesign,” Rawson said. “When the first step is talking to the patient and the family, great things happen.”

The improvements included converting the traditional waiting rooms into patient lounges, the first of which is the main waiting area, which was transformed with soft lighting, comfortable chairs and the installation of an interactive video wall. As patients and siblings reach for the objects on a giant wall screen, corn kernels “pop” into popcorn, waves ripple across a puddle, bubbles float through the air, or any of about 80 other scenarios are set in motion. Families who prefer a more private waiting space may use the patient lounges inside the suite, where a series of cozy nooks are flanked with intimate seating and illuminated in varying colors of light.

More intimate, colorful patient lounges are inside the suite.

“Lighting has been an integral part of improving the patient experience in all our radiology areas at the hospital,” said Rawson. “When children enter a pediatric procedure room, they get to choose the color of lighting to help them feel more comfortable during their study.”

For fluoroscopy, the child gets to choose sound, too, such as waves crashing on the beach.

“By giving the child the opportunity to choose color, lighting and sound themes, we put them in control of their experience. On top of that, all our imaging studies are performed using low-dose techniques, because it’s vital that we limit every child’s potential for radiation exposure. It’s great to have fun, but patient safety must come first,” Rawson said.

Because the large machines used in radiology can be intimidating for a child, GRHealth worked with its alliance partner Philips Healthcare to install a Philips Kitten Scanner, a miniature simulated CT scanner, just outside the room that houses the actual CT scanner.

Children choose a character – a robot, elephant or alligator – to be a test patient. Then the child places the test patient on the table and slides the table through the Kitten Scanner. Since each character has a special chip inside, the scanner comes to life when the character slides through, and a voice from the machine explains what is happening during the mock exam.

“Children get to learn about their test by scanning toys in a scanner, and it helps alleviate their fears of the larger machine once they see what’s going to happen when they are on the table,” said Rawson.

Radiologists at CHOG say the Kitten Scanner has even helped cut down on the number of young patients requiring sedation for the CT scanner, another patient-centric benefit. They’ve also received feedback from families that the suite no longer feels like a hospital.

“No matter how many projects I work on, I am always amazed at the impact of the patient and family advisors,” said Rawson. “When you want to improve the patient experience, you start by asking the patient, and the outcome always exceeds expectations.”

The renovated pediatric imaging suite opened in stages over the summer, and there will be an official ribbon-cutting event with patients, families, and staff on Oct. 20.

The 154-bed not-for-profit CHOG is the second-largest children’s hospital in the state, providing the highest level of pediatric critical care and neonatal intensive care, as well as a wide range of general and complex health care for children.

CHOG was recently ranked as the nation’s best children’s hospital in quality and safety.

Health Imaging magazine and HealthImaging.com provide business and technology news in medical imaging and healthcare information technology, radiology, cardiology, oncology, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine and molecular imaging. The magazine and website focus on economics, practice and informatics in imaging and are published by TriMed Media Group, Inc.

Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home ranks in top 15 percent nationally for customer satisfaction

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home has been ranked in the nation’s top 15 percent among senior health care providers for patient satisfaction, earning the 2015 Customer Experience Award™ from Pinnacle Quality Insight, a nationally recognized customer satisfaction firm.gwvnh

Pinnacle conducts more than 100,000 surveys each year while working with more than 1,500 clients in 47 states to determine how their patients and families evaluate them. Customers gave Georgia War praise in nearly a dozen distinct categories, including cleanliness, safety and security, nursing care, food quality, individual needs, admission process, and overall satisfaction.

“We believe the men and women who have served our country deserve the best care we can provide them, and this award demonstrates our dedication to excellence in patient care. It is truly an honor to be recognized,” said Charles Esposito, Executive Director of Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home.

Throughout its 45-year history of serving the veteran community, Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home has placed a strong emphasis on ensuring that the individual needs of every veteran patient are met. By partnering with Pinnacle to conduct monthly surveys and interviews with patients and families, the organization has been able to measure how effectively it carries out this mission.

“This ongoing feedback helps us gain a better understanding of our patients’ needs and make improvements when necessary,” said Esposito. “We are committed to continuing these efforts for the benefit of our patients and families.”

About Pinnacle Quality Insight
Pinnacle Quality Insight is a satisfaction measurement firm in Salt Lake City, Utah, with more than 18 years of experience in long-term healthcare. Pinnacle, an approved vendor for HH-CAHPS® and Hospice CAHPS®, specializes in phone surveys for the hospice and senior health care industry. For more information, visit pinnacleqi.com.

About Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home
Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home is a skilled nursing care facility owned by the Georgia Department of Veterans Service and operated by Georgia Regents University.

Perry receives Sodomka Leadership Award

Teri Perry, former Vice President of Adult Patient Care Services at Georgia Regents Medical Center, received the 2014 Patricia K. Sodomka Leadership Award for Patient- and Family-Centered Care during PFCC Awareness Month in October.

The award is named for the late Pat Sodomka, who served as Senior Vice President of Patient- and Family-Centered Care for the hospital and Director of Georgia Regents University’s Center for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. An internationally recognized advocate of PFCC and longtime hospital executive, Sodomka died in 2010 following a four-year battle with breast cancer.

PFCC means partnering with patients and families in their personal health care decisions. By partnering with patients and families – not only involving them in decisions about their care, but also gaining the benefit of their help and insights to better plan and deliver care – hospitals can improve patient care, achieve better outcomes, and increase employee satisfaction.

“Mrs. Perry has been an ambassador for our patients and families since she joined the health care team in 1994. She symbolizes PFCC and is very deserving of this award, from ensuring the training of more than 2,500 employees in PFCC practices to paving the way for a patient advisor to be appointed to the hospital’s ethics council – something that’s rare in health care,” said Erica Steed, Manager of Patient and Family Engagement.

Perry also is credited with helping implement a new Quiet Time practice during designated hours at the adult hospital, and she has represented Georgia Regents University at numerous national conferences and events, educating other health care professionals in PFCC and presenting best practices.


Perry joined the medical center as Nurse Manager of the Cardiac Care Unit and was promoted to various nursing leadership positions during her tenure, assuming the VP role in 2006. She retired Oct. 31 after 20 years of service to the medical center.


Other PFCC Awards

Also during PFCC Month, Tad Gomez, Vice President for Professional Services, was recognized with the PFCC Ambassador Award.

Additionally, eight staff members received a 2014 Family Choice Award for collaborating with patients and families. They are:

  • Mary Alice Bell, Ana Quinlan, and Katie Steiner, all of Rehabilitation Services
  • Debra Marranci, Perioperative Services/8 West
  • Dr. Cheryl Newman, Infectious Disease
  • Donna Posey, Cardiology
  • James “Jim” Rush, Chief Integrity Officer
  • Donna Vasil, Pharmacy

    Georgia Regents Medical Center Vice President and COO Steven Scott (back row, far left) and Administrative Director for Patient- and Family-Centered Care Bernard Roberson (back row, far right) presented 2014 Family Choice Awards to (front row, l-r): Jim Rush, Dr. Cheryl Newman and Mary Alice Bell; and (back row, l-r) Debra Marranci, Katie Steiner, Ana Quinlan, and Donna Vasil for exemplifying the values of Patient- and Family-Centered Care.

GRMC is recognized as a pioneer in PFCC by the American Hospital Association and the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care. As one of the largest such programs in the country, the hospital has more than 150 trained patient and family advisors who sit on councils, quality and safety teams, and facility design processes. For more information on the Patient and Family Advisory Councils or PFCC, please contact the Department of Patient and Family Engagement at 706-721-PFCC (7322).

Ritz-Carlton trainer to speak at PFCC Conference

Bryan Williams Photo 2Want to provide better service to our patients and guests? Use the tools of Patient- and Family-Centered Care. Brush up on your PFCC skills at the annual PFCC Conference this week.

Two duplicate sessions will be offered from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 10. Keynote speaker Dr. Bryan K. Williams, President and CEO of BW Enterprises and a former global trainer for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, will discuss how to apply the “platinum rule” in the patient care setting.

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to attend and can earn continuing education credit for either session. For more information on the conference, contact PFCC Coordinator Nicole Johnson-Boatwright at NIJOHNSON@gru.edu or 706-721-6838.

Hospital in nation’s Top 25 for patient engagement

AUGUSTA, Ga. – Caregiver Action Network – one of the nation’s leading family caregiver organizations – has named Georgia Regents Medical Center to its list of 25 of the Nation’s Best Practices in Patient and Family Engagement. Only nine U.S. hospital systems were recognized, and the medical center was the only one in Georgia. In addition, six health care employees and 10 individuals iCAN 25 BestPracticesn the patient/caregiver category rounded out the list of honorees.

“It’s great to be recognized for our work and accomplishments in Patient-and Family-Centered Care, but patient and family engagement is an ongoing process,” said Bernard Roberson, Administrative Director of Patient- and Family-Centered-Care at Georgia Regents Medical Center. “We have to continually examine and improve the way we interact with our patients, and we must share what we learn with others in the health care industry. Thanks to the Caregiver Action Network’s recognition program, the effectiveness of PFCC practices will continue to spread.”

“Our patients and families are absolutely our best partners and teachers,” said Dr. Peter F. Buckley, Dean of the Medical College of Georgia and Interim Executive Vice President for Health Affairs, Georgia Regents University and Interim CEO, Georgia Regents Medical Center and Medical Associates. “As Bernard says, by partnering with them we learn invaluable lessons that ultimately enable the best patient outcomes and optimize the education of future physicians. We appreciate Caregiver Action Network’s recognition of this essential partnership.”

Formerly the National Family Caregivers Association, CAN is a non-profit organization providing complimentary education, peer support, and resources to family caregivers across the nation in order to improve the quality of life for more than 90 million Americans who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or the frailties of old age.

From April through June CAN sought nominations through the “Advancing Excellence: Best Practices in Patient and Family Engagement” program. Evaluators, which included former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona, were looking for innovative programs that help ensure healthier outcomes for patients. Key elements common to best practices include actively listening to patients, creating genuine partnerships between providers and family caregivers, patient initiative, professional transparency, consistency, and the willingness to learn from mistakes.

“There is a growing realization that health care works best when patients and family caregivers are not simply interested bystanders but an integral part of the health care team,” said John Schall, Chief Executive Officer of CAN. “Improving communication with patients and families can and will improve patient outcomes.”

Click HERE for a list of CAN’s 25 Best Practices in Patient and Family Engagement or visit CaregiverAction.org for more information about the Advancing Excellence program.

Bryan Williams Photo 2
Dr. Bryan K. Williams, entrepreneur and former Ritz-Carlton global trainer, is keynote speaker at the annual PFCC Conference on Oct. 9 and 10.

Georgia Regents Medical Center is recognized as a pioneer in PFCC by the American Hospital Association and the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care and is one of six national models in PFCC as selected by the Picker Institute. PFCC means partnering with patients and families, not only in their personal health care decisions, but in using their experiences and insights to better plan, deliver, and evaluate the care for others.

One of the ways the hospital keeps patient engagement top of mind is through its annual Patient- and Family-Centered Care Conference during PFCC Awareness Month in October. Two duplicate sessions will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 10. Keynote speaker Dr. Bryan K. Williams, President and CEO of BW Enterprises and a former global trainer for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, will discuss how to apply the “platinum rule” in the patient care setting. Area health care workers are encouraged to attend and can earn continuing education credit for either session. For more information on the conference, contact PFCC Coordinator Nicole Johnson-Boatwright at NIJOHNSON@gru.edu or 706-721-6838.

Patient- and Family-Centered Conference coming up

Save the Date for the eighth annual Patient- and Family-Centered Care Conference, where “Reshaping the Behaviors of Patient- and Family-Centered Care” will be the theme. The conference will be held Oct. 9 and 10 at the Natalie and Lansing B. Lee Jr. Auditorium on the Health Sciences Campus.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Dr. Bryan Williams, a service consultant, trainer, and author. His specialty areas include service excellence, employee engagement, and quality improvement. For more information or to register, visit paws.gru.edu/pub/patient-family-engagement/pfcc/Pages/default.aspx.

Free car wash offered to GRHealth employees

car washHospitals can be busy places; there’s no doubt about it. Patient- and Family-Centered Care wants to show they appreciate GRHealth employees, with a “PFCC Elite Car Wash Day of Appreciation.”

The car wash will take place on Friday, Aug. 15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the old Sports Medicine parking lot at 937 15th St. It is the rounded building across the street from the VA.

Just show up and let them take care of your car.

Living with Lupus seminar slated for March 22 at Alumni Center

AUGUSTA, Ga. – What was first thought to be a carpal tunnel issue turned out be a life-changing diagnosis for Jenell Gardenhire.

“My hand and wrist were hurting, and doctors put a brace on my arm. I also had some injections,” said Gardenhire, then age 17. But the pain continued, and she was always feeling tired. So her pediatrician tested her, and it turned out to be lupus, a chronic, autoimmune disease in which the body attacks itself, damaging the skin, joints, kidneys and blood.

You can hear from patients affected by lupus and medical specialists who treat the disease at the annual Augusta Living with Lupus Symposium from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at the Georgia Regents University Alumni Center.

Symptoms vary from fatigue and rashes to hair loss, mouth and nose ulcers, and anemia. Other problems can include lung or heart inflammation, arthritis and blood clots. It’s often called the disease with a thousand faces, because you never know how it will manifest itself.

Since being diagnosed six years ago, Gardenhire has experienced kidney trouble, joint pain, and frequent bouts of fatigue. But she did not let it keep her from graduating from John S. Davidson Fine Arts School and Georgia Southern University.

“My experience has been up and down. I never know how I’m going to feel when I wake up,” said the 23-year-old elementary school teacher. “But I’ve had a lot of great support so far,” she says, giving credit to her faith, friends, and family, including a cousin who also has the disease.

In addition, her support system includes the experts at the Georgia Regents Lupus Multi-Specialty Clinic. “They explain things well and answer all of my questions. The doctors and nurses work together to treat me, and that’s one of the reasons that I am able to cope,” said Gardenhire.

The Lupus Foundation of America estimates that 1.5 million Americans have a form of lupus, and the disease affects 10 times as many women as men. There is no cure and treatment can be challenging.

“But there is hope for lupus sufferers, and that’s the message we want to share with patients and caregivers at our upcoming event,” said Dr. Alyce Oliver, a rheumatologist at Georgia Regents Medical Center and an Associate Professor in GRU’s Medical College of Georgia. “There are effective drugs and treatments that can improve a patient’s quality of life.”

For more information or to register for the Living with Lupus Symposium, call the Lupus Foundation of America’s Georgia Chapter at 770-333-5930 or visit lupusga.org.

Quality care matters at GRHealth

Quality careNine Georgia Regents Health System professionals were recently recognized for demonstrating collaborative and supportive partnerships with patients and families during the seventh annual Patient- and Family-Centered Care Conference in October.

The health system professionals recognized were Deardria Kelly, left, Jolee Rabun, Jennifer Croft, Deborah Fulmer, Chris Miller, and Randy Murphy. (Not pictured: Emily Renzi, LaVonne Nail, and LaWanda Lykes.)