Patient Centered Care Requires More than Good Processes

by davidgebler on July 22, 2014


The Wall Street Journal highlights positive steps hospitals can take to increase nurses’ time with patients.

The first step, to improve the processes to be more patient-focused, is the right one. The hard part is to change the culture within the hospital that addresses longstanding hierarchies and blame. Every administrator and clinical wants to put the patient first, but when push comes to shove, are they willing to make the hard choices to make it happen?

Culture Matters

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Oona Houlihan August 9, 2014 at 8:25 am

I have two things to share: about twenty years ago an engineer or doctor for obviously the first time stuck his/her head into an incubator for premature birth – only to discover that inside the noise level was about 120 dB or the noise of a jet plane taking off. Before that it was assumed that hard hearing in premature infants was caused by their ears not being fully developed at premature birth. Then, lacking incubators, a third world doctor would tie premature deliveries to the mothers’ stomachs and keep them warm – only to find that survival rates were higher than for babies in incubators. And lastly, I know of a Christian hospital where a nun and nurse, far beyond her retirement, would come in when a premature birth or cesarean was scheduled or expected and then take the child in her arms for as long as it took, often seventy hours or more. She is said to have saved about several thousand babies or we might call her “the mother” of a whole small city! I wonder what would happen if nursing was taken more literally in other aspects of health care?

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