Why Should I Fill Out Another Survey?

Brenda Nichols, RN
Marcus Daly Home Health & Hospice Services
1200 Westwood Drive
Hamilton, MT 59840

Why Should I Fill Out Another Survey?
In this day and age we are asked to complete multiple surveys for appliances, furniture, tools, and other items we buy. We receive surveys regarding repairs completed, orders placed, and customer service provided at the stores we shop in. We even receive calls at home regarding consumer choices and how we plan to vote. I would like to suggest that one of the most important surveys you receive is about your personal healthcare.

Over time it has been statistically established that on average people will tell 4 - 9 people about a good experience they have. It is also overwhelmingly documented across the board that people who are unhappy with services provided will tell twice as many people. This rate applies to feedback given when completing surveys as well. We want to hear from all of you, no matter what your experience. Taking an active role in ensuring that your healthcare team is meeting your needs and is providing the best care possible creates a partnership so that we can work together to reach your goals.

Being a patient entails a certain kind of vulnerability, especially for our Home Health and Hospice patients who are being served in their home setting. More and more you may be hearing about patient empowerment in all areas of healthcare. Becoming more involved helps to lessen that vulnerable feeling. It takes time and effort to be an empowered patient. Building a good relationship with your healthcare team is worth it. How do you become more empowered with your Home Health or Hospice care?
  • Ask questions about your disease process, surgical recovery, medications, and any other area of your care. Learn as much as you can. Our staff is eager to share their knowledge and furnish you with teaching materials appropriate for you and your individual situation.
  • Actively participate in creating your own personal plan of care. Set very personal goals both long term (something you want to do in the future) and short term (the steps you will accomplish to get there). For example, "I want to walk down the aisle at my granddaughter's wedding in June" would be a long term goal with steps in between being, "My wound will heal without any complications", "I can walk to the mailbox with my walker 3 times a week", and "I can shower with minimal assistance".
  • Communicate clearly about your pain management. Set a goal for what is an acceptable pain level for you and if you are not reaching it, tell us right away. Some patients choose to keep a pain journal to record how long medication is working, what activities increase their pain, whether or not there is pattern, and what things besides medicine helps to decrease the pain.
  • Keep other logs related to your needs, such as recording blood pressure, daily weights, and blood sugar levels. Share and discuss these logs with our staff on each visit.
  • Be prepared for your doctor visits. There is usually a short time to discuss all of your healthcare needs. We can help you put together and write down questions, make sure you have your pertinent records together, and set priorities for what you will focus on.

In some instances we are also able to attend a visit with you.

  • Discuss other needs you might have to help you be comfortable and safe. Our staff can help refer you to community resources, such as housekeeping services, medical equipment providers, and meal delivery.
  • Tell us along the way what things we can do to improve your care experience. We will work together with you to ensure a positive outcome.
  • Include and keep your loved ones up to date with your care.
  • Complete and return your health care surveys! The data compiled from your survey is reported back to you, the public, increasing transparency and accountability for our quality of care. This allows you and the rest of the community to compare health care providers in our area so that you can make informed decisions about the providers you choose.
If some or all of these things are too difficult for you to manage alone, you need to choose a patient advocate to help. This would be a person that you know and trust to help you accomplish your daily healthcare tasks and communicate your needs to your healthcare team.

Your communication with your healthcare team is a two-way street. The best healthcare communication is just like in any other relationship you maintain. It includes openness, honesty, trust, feeling heard, inquiring about what is not understood, validation, and support.

As quoted from "Being Human is Good Business" by Kristin Smaby, "When customers share their story, they're not just sharing pain points. They're actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better. Your customer service organization should be designed to efficiently communicate those issues."

Marcus Daly Home Health and Hospice wants to hear your perspective on the issues that are important to you! Our programs are constantly focused on quality improvement measures to improve our services in many ways from the type of supplies we use to creating an excellent patient care experience. The majority of the patients we serve have an over-all goal of remaining in their own homes. It is our focus to help you to do so. Your opinions and suggestions are crucial to us. Please help us to continue to provide you with better than the best services.

Watch for your Home Health or Hospice professional to ask, "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" and please let us know what it is.

If anyone has additional questions or wonder when is the "right time" to consider hospice services, please feel free to contact Brenda Nichols, RN, at Marcus Daly Home Health and Hospice Services, 1200 Westwood Drive, Hamilton, MT 59840. Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital is working together to build a healthy community.


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