JANUARY 2013 MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Joan’s Family Bill of Rights
Los Angeles, California
Barbara founded Joan's Family Bill of Rights as a way to connect healthcare professionals and staff and improve the satisfaction of patients and their family members. After her younger sister, Joan, died tragically of an unknown infection, Barbara decided to share her sister's hospital experience with the hope to improve patient satisfaction and enhance the experience patients have when they are hospitalized.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR ROLE?
As a marketing consultant for over 20 years, I’ve been focused on client/customer service for many years. So when I sat in the hospital at my sister’s bedside seeing her improvement during the first week, I began assessing the patient service from the many health care professionals who came into her room, as well as others I observed throughout the hospital. I began to jot down notes about my observations. My plan was to meet with the head of the Intensive Care Unit when my sister was discharged. Tragically, my sister took a turn for the worse and died two weeks after she had been admitted to the hospital.
When I returned home, I came across my notes and debated if I should write an email to the head of the ICU. I thought that if I were that person, I would want to know what I had observed. I wrote Joan’s Family Bill of Rights in memory of my sister. The head of the ICU later told me that she cried when she read the document. She passed it along to the head of the hospital and he, in turn, sent it to the heads of the healthcare system. They called me to talk and within three months flew me across the country to make three presentations at their hospitals. They videotaped the presentations and said that it would become the "cornerstone” of their training program.
WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FUTURE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE?
I hope that I’ll be able to make a difference in the patient experience. I feel that identifying potential problems and rectifying them prior to discharge is critical to improving the patient experience. In-hospital surveys can highlight potential issues and provide the opportunity to make changes before the patient leaves the hospital and receives the HCAHPS survey.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN WHEN NOT WORKING?
As a child, I lived all over the world, and I still love to travel and experience different cultures.
WHY DID YOU JOIN THE BERYL INSTITUTE?
I am interested in hearing about the work of The Beryl Institute and becoming a member of this important community.