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National Patient Experience Week is April 23-29

Submit your entry for YNHHS’ Patient Experience Week contest 

Patient Experience invites employees to submit stories for a contest to recognize Yale New Haven Health’s “all-star teams.” Submissions are due Sunday, April 30. Submitters will be entered to win a bag filled with goodies.

Contest rules: 

  • Choose a team or department you want to recognize. 
  • Write a story about why this team or department is a super star and how they exemplify the patient experience, every person, every time. 
  • Submit your story to [email protected].

Winners will be announced during the first week of May.

Yale New Haven Health’s celebration of National Patient Experience Week April 23-29 highlights our commitment to compassion, respect and care to every person, every time. 

“We all have the ability to make a difference in the lives of our patients, loved ones or colleagues, and kindness and empathy are free,” said Thomas Balcezak, MD, YNHHS chief clinical officer.
Out of the thousands of comments Yale New Haven Health receives from patients, the word “kind” was mentioned 15,000 times this year.

“Smiling, sitting down with a patient at eye level or simply saying ‘What can I do for you? I have the time’ go a long way,” said Tina Bennett, YNHHS chief experience officer. “Authentic listening is a sign of respect. It’s not so much about what you do, it’s how you do it which builds trust. Putting ourselves in others’ shoes is how we show compassion and empathy.”

Other words patients used over 4,000 times to describe staff members are “helpful,” “professional” and “attentive.” These comments show exactly what patients value and need from staff.  

As the health system continues to navigate new post-pandemic challenges, staff still find ways to go above and beyond for patients, Bennett said. This hard work is reflected in patient satisfaction scores that have yielded Press Ganey awards for Greenwich and Lawrence + Memorial hospitals, Pequot Health Center and Northeast Medical Group. 

YNHHS also receives thousands of stories highlighting excellence, including one about a Protective Services lieutenant who stopped what he was doing to help a patient who was waiting to get into a room safely in the Emergency Department. Other stories have lauded a Food and Nutrition team member who called for help after noticing a patient with difficulty breathing, and an Environmental Services staff member who gave a patient her heart earrings after learning the patient loved hearts. 

“Thinking outside of the box like this is one of the best ways to overcome our barriers, to focus on what we can do,” Bennett said. 

Almost 4,000 staff throughout YNHHS have taken the time to be trained on hourly bedside rounding because they understand how important it is to provide compassionate and connected patient-centered care. Bennett noted that prioritizing the patient experience also improves quality and safety, and vice versa. All of this work is ongoing.

“During Patient Experience Week and all year long, we are grateful to our caregivers in all roles and to our patients who allow us to care for them,” Bennett said.