Innovators put the ‘care’ in patient care

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By Elaine O’Connor

Providing excellent patient experience in healthcare means ensuring patients receive not only highly competent and safe care, but that they feel the “care” in health care. That’s Fraser Health’s philosophy and it carries through to the actions of those on the frontlines of the B.C. health authority.  Here are a few of the innovative care providers working to improve patient experience in Fraser Health hospitals, residential care facilities and communities.

As a clinical pharmacy specialist, Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Brandi Newby knew medication errors were more common – and more dangerous – among children, as most dosage data is based on adults. So she advocated for a separate neonatal and paediatric dispensary, and pulled together diverse teams to make it happen. It opened in 2014 in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit, one of the first of its kind, and she serves as the dispensary’s coordinator. She’s also assisted in building a team of 10 pharmacists and nine pharmacy technicians who serve the hospital’s Maternal Infant Child and Youth programs, improving child medication safety across the board.

Dr. Nick Petropolis is a family physician who ensures frail, home-bound seniors don’t fall through the cracks.
Dr. Nick Petropolis is a family physician who ensures frail, home-bound seniors don’t fall through the cracks.

Dr. Nick Petropolis is a family physician who ensures frail, home-bound seniors don’t fall through the cracks. He saw gaps in their access to primary care and rallied teams of nurses and physicians to fill them. This collaboration resulted in the Frail Elderly Nurse Practitioner Program, where health care providers make house calls to residential facilities in Burnaby, New Westminster and the Tri-Cities. He’s also led Fraser Northwest Division’s Residential Care Initiative, ensuring senior residents have access to doctors after hours, and regular medication reviews and check-ups right in their residences every three months, reducing their reliance on emergency rooms.

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Misty Dawn Stephens is a wound, ostomy and continence nurse at Burnaby Hospital who’s helped hundreds of patients cope following bowel damage or surgery.

Misty Dawn Stephens is a wound, ostomy and continence nurse at Burnaby Hospital who’s helped hundreds of patients cope following bowel damage or surgery. Her personal touch has helped relieve their fears, while her clinical expertise has ensured these vulnerable patients receive the support they need to manage at home. Among her initiatives, she helped found the Enterostomal Outpatient Clinic. Today it’s booked solid, providing pre-op, post-op and discharged patients with holistic care. She also launched a skin tear prevention program, testing wound tapes to reduce patient injury, and has standardized post-operative dressing changes to reduce infection rates.

Clinical Nurse Educator Rejeanne McLean collaborated with the emergency department, foundations, and community groups to raise awareness of and funding for a separate paediatric unit.
Clinical Nurse Educator Rejeanne McLean collaborated with the emergency department, foundations, and community groups to raise awareness of and funding for a separate paediatric unit.

The hospital can be a frightening place for children. The Chilliwack General Hospital Paediatric Observation Team wanted to take away that fear by offering young patients a dedicated space. Pediatrician Dr. Julian Pleydell-Pearce, Clinical Operations Manager Sarah Hyatt and Clinical Nurse Educator Rejeanne McLean collaborated with the emergency department, foundations, and community groups to raise awareness of and funding for the unit. Earlier this year, they achieved their goal with the opening of the Rotary Club of Chilliwack-Fraser Pediatric Observation Centre. The four-bed unit ensures children brought to emergency get streamlined access to pediatric experts in a bright, child-friendly space, freeing room in emergency for others.

These care providers were among those recognized for exceptional patient care in the 11th Above & Beyond Awards. Read more inspiring stories here.

Elaine O’Connor works in communications at Fraser Health.

Photo credit:Lindsey Donovan Photography