Children's Hospital Association: Soliciting Real-time Feedback from Patient Families in the Hospital
Here's how Children's Mercy is elevating the family's voice
When DeeJo Miller and Sheryl Chadwick meet with patient families at Children's Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri, on behalf of the hospital, they bring a different perspective to the conversation. That's because doctors at Children's Mercy treated Miller and Chadwick's children for cancer.
Both Miller and Chadwick served the hospital as volunteers and later joined the parent advisory board. In 2008, Children's Mercy hired the two mothers as its first Patient and Family Engagement program managers—staff members tasked with representing the family's voice on hospital committees, workgroups and projects.
One of those projects is the Family Experience Tracer program, where Miller and Chadwick meet with randomly selected families to assist with their hospital visit and solicit real-time feedback on the hospital's performance. "It's very gratifying work," Miller says. "We can be empathetic to families' situations and offer supportive listening."
Tracers expanding as a valuable tool for hospital improvements
Children's Mercy began using parent volunteers to gauge family experience on site in 2005. The process started as a somewhat informal method to provide feedback to individual departments but has evolved over the years. In 2015, Katie Taff, MBA, M.H.A., certified patient experience professional, and the manager of Children's Mercy's Patient and Family Engagement program - along with Miller and Chadwick - formalized the documentation process and expanded the program's reach.