As someone who has always enjoyed writing and other creative activities, it was a pleasure to write the Ultimate Patient Advocate in Your Pocket—which combines those endeavors with my work as a frontline doctor. It’s been great to get so much positive feedback about the booklet, which is designed to help patients through their hospitalization. I’ve received lots of questions about what made me write it and how it can help patients, and I wanted to take the time to answer some of them:
1. My own passion for improving the patient experience brought me here
As someone who has been in clinical practice for the best part of a decade, wanting all my patients to have an optimal hospital experience is very much something that drives me every day. What we have to remember is that hospitals are inherently different from say, hotels and restaurants, and it’s easy to forget that we are seeing our patients (“customers”) at a very low point in their lives. It’s a travesty if we therefore inadvertently make things any worse than they should be.
2. The problems are the same everywhere you go
I’ve experienced frontline medicine in 3 different countries—the USA, UK and Australia, and also have experiences with relatives in India who’ve been hospitalized. From what I’ve seen, whether it’s poor communication, excessively long waits, or a less than thorough discharge process—the problems seem to be the same everywhere you go. In the United States, I’ve worked in hospitals up and down the east coast, from large academic medical centers to more rural hospitals. The complaints and questions I hear from patients have always been the same!
3. Patients want to feel empowered
The booklet is designed for patients to more completely understand the process of a medical hospitalization, what to expect, and what questions to ask. It’s my belief that nearly all patients want to feel empowered in a patient-centered model. We live in a highly educated country, and doctors sometimes fail to realize that patients are capable of processing more information than we think. They also ask very good questions, which deserve to be answered.
4. The solutions to improving patient experience are simpler than we think
Hospital administrations up and down the country are increasingly focused on improving patient satisfaction and the healthcare experience—largely because they are now financially penalized for poor performance (and that’s not necessarily a bad thing). However, many administrators completely lose the forest for the trees, and focus on overly complicated and expensive, glitzy ideas that aren’t what patients are even asking for. The Ultimate Patient Advocate helps to hone in on these common complaints and issues that patients have.
5. Patients need an Advocate!
As the name suggests, the booklet is designed to be the ultimate simple companion for patients while they are in the hospital. Reading it will help them better understand the process of being hospitalized and all the confusion that typically occurs in hospitals. It’s not your standard, dull handout that hospitals give their patients. It’s really designed to be read and understood.
More details about The Ultimate Patient Advocate in Your Pocket can be found here. Hospitals ordering in bulk are advised to contact us first.
Suneel Dhand is a physician, author, speaker and healthcare consultant. He has experience in a number of different healthcare environments, having worked up and down the East coast and also internationally. His specialty areas include hospital QI, improving the patient experience, and optimizing healthcare IT. He is the Founder & Director of MangoWell, a healthcare communications, online media and publishing company. MangoWell’s most recent publication, “The Ultimate Patient Advocate in Your Pocket”, is designed to help hospitalized patients.
Also follow Suneel’s blog at: www.HealthcareImprove.com