New Patient Experience Officer helping Patients have a Positive ED Visit
Coming to the Emergency Department at Broken Hill Health Service will be a much more positive experience thanks to our new Patient Experience Officer. They will greet everyone coming into the Emergency Department with a welcoming smile and do everything they can to help make them as comfortable as possible during an often challenging time.
The new position is part of the NSW Government's award-winning Patient Experience Program which is being piloted at the Broken Hill Hospital Emergency Department for 12 months.
Far West LHD Chief Executive, Mr Umit Agis, said the PEO is there to support all our patients (and their carers) coming to the Emergency Department.
'This valuable program has proven to be a huge help to patients and carers during what is often a very worrying time, ensuring they receive all the information and support they need from the minute they arrive in our care,' he said.
'The additional full-time staff will welcome patients and their families and provide them with directions and information about what to expect at each stage of their care and treatment. The extra support will go a long way as we continue to combat COVID-19.'
Alison Couch is the BH Health Services' inaugural Patient Experience Officer.
'People are often at their most vulnerable when they present to hospital for help,' said Alison.
'The hospital can be an unfamiliar place and it may be difficult to know where to go and who to get help from. The Patient Experience Officers are a friendly face, providing guidance and reassurance to our patients' right from the moment they come in the door.'
The Patient Experience Officer is a non-clinical concierge role. Making everyone feel welcome and listened to is a key component of improving the experience for people coming to hospital.
As part of the program patients receive:
- access to free Wi-Fi, mobile phone charging stations, and water
- information sent to their mobile device about what to expect during their stay
- fact sheets on their particular condition/ treatment options
- ongoing care instructions after discharge
Since the NSW pilot sites implemented the program, there have been decreases in patient complaints, and increases in compliments to staff, with patient and carer feedback showing a 30 per cent improvement in overall Emergency Department satisfaction.
Emergency Department Nursing Unit Manager, Susan Thomas, said that the role is a critical complement to the clinical work of our ED staff.
'The ED staff see great value in the role, both to staff as well as patients and carers,' said Ms Thomas.