Tony the Tiger recently sought care at Siloam. Listed as “Tony Tiger” in our electronic health record, Vanderbilt Medical Student Enoch Sizto was given a patient’s perspective on the entire clinic process. Preparing for his new patient appointment, Enoch remembered to bring his identification (see accompanying photo).
We want our trainees to see that in our attempt to provide whole-person care we need a team committed to making that experience possible. The best practice examples of whole-person care extend beyond what goes on in the exam room between the patient and the practitioner. Every staff member plays a role in caring for the whole person…from taking a patient phone call, to check-in, to triage, to the lab, and eventually to check-out…how staff address and care for patients is critically important.
This is not merely a “good customer service” technique, although I certainly do not knock the need for customer service training. Whole-person care starts with the heart of the individual providing the service. They must know themselves to be deeply loved creations of God…and, be encouraged by team members and leadership…and, supported by organizational policies and procedures.
Some ways we carry this out at Siloam is hiring staff that understand deeply our mission and can abide by our core values. It follows with daily moments of renewal of spirit in prayer huddles to seek God’s blessing upon the shift ahead of us. It is supported by a weekly staff meeting that allows us to form community (team-building) and reflect upon our purpose and study the scriptures.
Making whole-person care “Grrreat!” is not a destination but a process. We continue to learn as we go. What systems, processes or people have you experienced that make whole-person care possible in your life?