ARH seeks patient input to improve services

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Andalusia Regional Hospital is looking for former patients who are interested in having input in a focus group designed to improve patient experiences.

ARH patient advocate Stephanie Bulger, LBSW, said, “We want them to sit on a panel and tell us their experiences. Then we will work on how to improve.”

There will be a series of meetings in the coming year, Bulger said, with the first one set for Jan. 30.

“We’ll pick five former patients and ask them to participate in one panel for 45 minutes to an hour,” she said.

Among the questions that will be asked are:

• Why were you in the hospital?

• What would have made you feel like nurses explained things clearly?

• What would have made you feel like we were listening?

• What is your overall feedback, as to how we could have improved your stay in the hospital?

“Then, we take everything we’ve learned from them and set up timelines and plans of action to implement policies and procedures, to make sure their perspectives and concerns are taken care of,” Bulger said.

As a patient advocate, Bulger makes rounds daily.

“I make sure all patients have what they need, and that they are taken care of well by our staff,” she said.

She also monitors ARH’s Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores. The standardized survey is used to record patients’ feedback about their experiences.

Director of Nursing Melissa Davis said in similar processes, ARH has developed procedures that are beneficial for patients.

Now, nurses do “purposeful rounding.”

“Instead of saying, ‘Do you need anything,’ we say, ‘Are you comfortable? Can we help you turn? Is everything within reach?’

“We made questions more patient specific,” Davis said.

Those interested in participating can contact Bulger at 334.222.8466, ext. 7087, or by email at email