#Shorehealthcareheroes: Patient Experience

Kathleen Schallus and Jocelyn Sampson

May 29, 2020

Serving as the direct contact for patients, their families, and the community, the #shorehealthcareheroes of the Patient Experience team have done an incredible job during this pandemic. The passionate and dedicated team of three - Administrative Director Tami Kitchen and Patient Experience representatives Jocelyn Sampson and Kathleen Schallus - have embraced countless unexpected responsibilities and challenges the past few months.

"I'm so proud of Jocelyn and Kathleen for the work they have done for our patients and staff, but it's what we do all the time and we love our job," said Tami Kitchen. "We are so proud of everyone in this organization, how they have come together under this crisis, and how committed they are to our patients."

The Patient Experience team members are called upon to listen to and help with a variety of patient and family concerns. During the pandemic, one of their efforts was helping to support one of the most vital initiatives and that is to keep patients connected to their loved ones during this pandemic. The team has utilized facetime on phones, ipods and ipads to keep patients in visual and audio communication with their loved ones.

Patient Experience has implemented a "Foster Advocate" program through which employees have assisted us in making calls to patients in isolation rooms to create a connection with someone with in the hospital as a support person to assure all the patients’ needs are being met. 

“Just because a patient is in isolation does not mean that they should feel isolated,” said Kitchen. “Since theircommunication is primarily only with the nurse caring for them, we wanted to provide an additional level of support. The feedback has been positive as the patients often don't want to ‘bother’ the nurse but have a request for simple things like an ice cream, or for someone to reach out to their love ones and provide information."

"It is heartbreaking for family members not to be able to be with patients," said Kitchen." Our staff have been able to give family and friends a chance to connect with their loved one and in some cases to say good-bye to patients in their final moments. Our staff, doctors, nurses and clinical support have all been really supportive in making these video communications happen, and we are really grateful for that."

The Patient Experience team has also coordinated all of the food and supply donations that have come in from the community. They ensure that the donations are spread equally among the staff so that all of the shore healthcare heroes could enjoy them. They also serve as the contact for the many companies, organizations  Morning, noon and night, weekdays and weekends, the Patient experience team always answered the call. They have also coordinated the sharing of letters, signs, and photos that has been sent to the hospital from the community.

"Our team is always there for our patients and our co-workers. When someone is in need, Patient Experience is always there asking what they can do to help. We have a great team.