520 North Third Ave Sandpoint, ID 83864

 (208) 263-1441

BGH Strives for Best Patient Experience

One can only imagine what the Patient Experience Survey might contain if the Duchess of Cambridge were to fill one out about her recent stay in a maternity hospital that cost over $9,000 per day. Was the caviar cold enough? Were the foot massages satisfactory? Oh my.
In any healthcare facility it’s critical that patients are treated respectfully, competently and expeditiously. Bonner General Health is continuing to make strides to make sure that quality, compassionate care isn’t just a slogan but a representation of the consistently excellent services they provide.
Did you know that BGH has a Quality Department? Headed by Tracy Autler, RN and staffed by Certified Patient Experience Professional Jodi Bodi, this department is tasked with assessing the surveys that are conducted by an independent firm in order to identify areas of improvement that can be successfully implemented.
In 2016 the Shhh – Silent Hospitals Help Healing program was launched. Based on the proven premise that a quieter hospital aids healing, the overhead pages have been eliminated for all but emergencies, equipment has been quieted and during set hours visitors are asked to lower their voices.
“We started the program because when we looked at the surveys we noticed that we were scoring low in that area,” Bodi said in a recent interview. “We were able to turn that around rather quickly. This program has been very successful. Patients tell us that.”
Patient satisfaction doesn’t only start and stop with a quieter hospital. “Another area that we identified that needed improvement is communication. Communication with the patient, their family and communication about their inpatient care and discharge plan,” Bodi said.
“Using best practices from other hospitals, we’ve custom designed dry erase boards with information that includes names of the nurse, the doctor and even the housekeeper. It has the patient’s name, room number, family contact information, and more. It makes everyone a member of the team.
“The board also has space for tasks and procedures to be done, including information about physical therapy, occupational therapy and cardio-pulmonary rehab for example, the goals for the day. It helps alieve anxiety because the patient knows what to expect. It also addresses pain management.”
These boards will be installed in all patient rooms in May. Everyone on the hospital staff who interfaces with in-patient care will have mandatory training before the go-live date. Bodi said it’s an important project that will make a big difference.
As for the future plans, Bodi said that a patient handbook is in the works that will contain maps of the campus, description of hospital services and pertinent contact phone numbers.
So while we’re on the subject of patient experience, toot those horns and start the drumroll. Once again BGH has been awarded a Qualis Health 2018 Quality Award of Excellence in Healthcare Quality. This time it’s for the antibiotic stewardship program. This is a big deal, because this is the fourth time in the last six years that BGH has won.
Qualis Health is one of the nation’s leading population health management organizations. Winners of the Awards of Excellence in Healthcare Quality in Idaho are selected by a panel of expert stakeholders. The criteria is based on better healthcare for individuals, better health for the populations and reduced costs through improvements. BGH received this award because they not only met, but exceeded the expectations of the panel.
“Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in hospitals follow guidelines that include hand hygiene and other infection control measures with every patient and work to improve antibiotic use in their facility through stewardship interventions and programs, which improve individual patient outcomes, reduce the overall burden of antibiotic resistance, and save healthcare dollars,” BGH’s website explains.
Just about everyone would like to be called “award winning,” but it really comes down to a satisfactory patient experience to determine success. That’s a goal worth striving for, not just once a year, but all the time.
Kathy Hubbard is a member of Bonner General Health Foundation Advisory Council. She can be reached at kathyleehubbard@yahoo.com.

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