Discharge: Re-entry Into the Afterlife of the Patient Experience
November 6, 2015
Re-entry into life after hospitalization has been reduced to the term “discharge.” Healthcare professionals have also limited their responsibility for patients once they leave the hospital to a list of instructions and follow up calls.
Clearly there is more to what happens to patients when they leave the hospital than this.
Is there any part of what happens in the hospital that, when taken home, can ease this process? Something that can help patients engage in their own life and personhood?
These questions are critical to patient experience initiatives. The experience always remains with the patient, however its meaning takes shape in the afterlife — in the days, weeks, months, even years following a serious illness or injury.
One person being encouraging and caring, acknowledging the patient who has the illness rather than just the diagnosis, can make all the difference. And, while giving patients bedpans and all the other accessories they have used while in the hospital is a common discharge gift, does it really reflect the higher levels of excellence that healthcare organizations are promising these days?
What Can C.A.R.E. Do?
We started producing The C.A.R.E. Channel in order to bring beauty, health, inspiration, and life into the patient experience. Since 1992, hundreds of thousands of patients, family members, and staff have been calmed and soothed by its stunning nature video and relaxing music.
And, many of those patients and family members have called us once they’ve left the hospital, wanting to know how they can get The C.A.R.E. Channel at home. Staff members, too. So, we started producing the C.A.R.E. at Home DVD and C.A.R.E. at Home CD series several years ago.
Never intended as a replacement for the channel in the hospital (which has much more robust programming and options), the 60-minute DVDs are ideal for personal use. We encourage our client hospitals to include them as part of their discharge package — a lasting reminder of the hospital’s concern for their health and well-being.
And, quite possibly, something that will ease patients’ stress while recuperating at home and help prevent re-admission to the hospital.
Keeping up with the times, we recently introduced the C.A.R.E. at Home App for mobile devices. Available on iTunes for iOS devices (Android version coming soon), the app offers a sampling of The C.A.R.E. Channel’s therapeutic programming — including day and nighttime programming and guided imagery programs.
We hope that someday, physicians may even “prescribe” The C.A.R.E. Channel app for patients. What do you think of that idea?
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