“Patients are our North Star – they are the reason we come to work every day and I am so proud of all of the individuals and teams honored with this award,” said Inga Lennes, MD, MPH, MGPO senior vice president of Practice Improvement and Service Excellence, at the fifth annual Patient Experience Awards. “They show us every day how we live out our commitment to the patients that we serve.”

On June 7, individuals and teams from across the MGH gathered to be recognized for their marked improvement in patient care experience at the Wyndam Hotel. Winners walked the red carpet to receive their trophies, banners and cake or pizza party certificates to share with their teams, departments and units.

The awards are divided into nominations based awards and score based awards, with winners meeting patient experience focus indicator goals in 2017. Focus indicators are areas of potential growth in patient experience based off of patient survey data. Outpatient score based award focus indicators included got routine care appointment, informed of wait times, provider explain, and provider knows medical history. Inpatient awards indicators included staff responsiveness, quiet at night, and communication about medications.

“Our founding documents talk about how, when in distress, everyone is our neighbor. This awards ceremony is a way to celebrate all of the great ways that the people at MGH bring this phrase to life every day,” said Mary Cramer, executive director of Organizational Effectiveness and chief experience officer.

The nomination awards recognized contributions to better the patient experience, celebrating projects or task forces that solved specific challenges within their area of care. Projects ranged from creating a new Facilitator Role allowing inpatient departments to better communicate patient progress, to adapting a feeding technology that allows ALS patients to maintain more independence outside of the hospital.  An MRI Anesthesia task force was recognized for helping to meet the imaging needs of Autistic patients whose procedures are now applied more broadly to other patient populations within MRI imaging while the Pathology Outpatient Phlebotomy Service Improvement Project cut wait times for more than 90 percent of patients seen from a two-hour average wait time to less than 15 minutes.

Among the seven Individual honorees, Claudia Gomes was nominated for her attention to patient education when helping navigate new dietary restrictions and menu options for patients as a Nutrition Service coordinator and Thomas Lawton was recognized for his leadership in the Travel and Immunization Clinic ensuring that patients are getting all of the immunizations patients need in a timely fashion. Erin Kistler, director of Radiology at MGH North Shore Center for Outpatient Care, was recognized with a leadership award. In her nomination, Kistler was praised for her “transparency that has created a trusting environment that has encouraged focus on continuous improvement, placing the patient viewpoint at the center of operations.”

“The things you do every day make patients feel less anxious,” said Greg Pauly, chief operating officer, MGPO. “Your ability to show empathy and be welcoming to patients and visitors and your continuous attention to the patient experience at the MGH are all part of great patient care.”

Read more articles from the 06/29/18 Hotline issue.