Our Patient & Family Think Tank
There used to be a time when 8 o’clock in the evening at a hospital arrived with an announcement that “visiting hours are now over.” With few exceptions, friends and loved ones were encouraged—strongly—to go home and let the patient rest.
In the last decade, as research has shown that the well-being of patients is enhanced when they are surrounded by loved ones, a more flexible trend is emerging. That trend—patient and family-centered care—includes what the patients and their families have to say about everything from visiting hours to signage to loved ones being present during procedures.
Nurse Katie Boston, senior director of nursing who oversees AAMC’s busy operating rooms, is one of the leaders in the hospital’s expanded effort to include patients and family in decision-making. “We have numerous stories about our staff going ‘above and beyond’ for patients and their families,” she said. “But we have come to learn that there are so many needs of families and patients that are unmet.”
These needs can range from reviewing their medication list to having patients directly involved in their care plans.
Keep reading to see two examples of advocates in action.
A Mother’s Voice
Providing Comfort, Compassion
Christa Grim is on a committee reviewing the hospital’s visiting hours on each unit. “I’m happy to be part of the process that would make things easier for the patients and their families,” she said.
As a two-time breast cancer patient and the mother of an AAMC “NICU baby,” Christa knows about the comfort care patients and families need. In 2002, when her daughter Isabel was born with a heart condition and spent five days in the neonatal intensive care unit, she was grateful for the loving support of family and friends.
“But there were families with no one to help,” she recalled. “I wanted to help them.” She created Isabel’s Gift, an organization that provides comfort bags to NICU families. When she was treated twice for breast cancer, Christa’s AAMC connections deepened. One nurse thought Christa would be a perfect patient advisor. Christa gladly accepted an invitation to join the Patient Advisory Team.
Learn more about Isabel’s Gift at www.isabelsgift.org.
Have an Idea? Become an Advisor!
Have you been a patient or visitor at Anne Arundel Medical Center? You may have recommendations on how we can improve our facilities, signs, visiting hours and more. How can you help us improve? It’s easy. Become an AAMC advisor by calling us at 443-481-1688 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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