A Life Worth Living: One Outcome of a Great Patient Experience
June 19, 2015
A few years ago, we received an email from a patient that read something like this:
I am a veteran. I am in the hospital. I was injured while on tour in Afghanistan, have chronic pain and came into the hospital with a respiratory infection. Things have been really rough on me. So, I am lying in bed feeling like life is over and I might want it that way. Then, the nurse comes in and turns on The C.A.R.E. Channel. As I watched the stunning nature landscapes hour after hour, I realized that there were many places I have not yet seen that I want to see. I want to thank you for helping regain my desire to live.
Everyday, in every hospital worldwide, there are patients who are thinking about whether life is worth living. And yet there are no clinical protocols or medical history questions that uncover this critical information from patients.
Do they look forward to the other side of their illness? Are they hopeless about their tumor, broken hip, or collapsed lung? Is the pain they are having an exception to their daily lives or chronic and unbearable? Do they have thoughts of suicide?
Relieving suffering and stress is an important part of creating a positive patient experience. With that comes the opportunity to help shift patients’ sense of self and what matters. Every detail of their care — including a personal inquiry about something besides their vital signs can give them hope and encouragement.
We have found that The C.A.R.E. Channel can become a window to a better future. Two of the most profound experiences of life — nature and music — can give value and meaning.
After all, the patient experience in the hospital is the door to the lived experience after the hospital.
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