Our third guest blog post for Patient Experience Week is from Colleen Kennedy, who interviewed social worker Brenda Goossen. Brenda shared her reasons for joining “What Matters to You?” Day and her perspective as a provider on the patient experience.
Why are you participating in #WMTY17?
I had the privilege of attending the Quality Forum in March, where I learned about the campaign. I was really inspired by it. I really like how friendly and appealing “What Matters to You?” Day is. As a social worker, I am very focused on being patient- and family-centred. In my practice, I follow dignity therapy, so I’m starting to ask this question and meet the patient where they are at.
The great thing about #WMTY17 is that it aligns with the core value of hearing and respecting people. It’s not about reducing an individual to their illnesses and diagnoses but seeing them as person.
How are you participating with your team?
I looked at the #WMTY17 website, and then talked to my team about it. I asked them if they would want to come on board with the campaign. I invited them to ask their clients “What Matters to You? on a regular basis.
I’m also encouraging our team to really care for each other by asking each other what matters to them, and what gives their work purpose. If they are feeling stressed, asking what can be done to help them.
How does Patient Experience Week relate to “What Matters to You?” Day
Asking that question is how we should start every meeting with a client. I just had a scenario today that made me think: I may know what I want to discuss, but it isn’t about me – it is about where the patient or family is at. Where are they at? What do they understand? Where would they like to be?
We’ve seen a lot of illness over the years in our team. Here in cancer care, people tell us a lot about what matters to them! They’re very open and honest with us. We can’t always do exactly what they are asking, but we do our best to accommodate as best we can.
What do you hope to gain by participating in #WMTY17?
The first thing is that I hope we can build a culture of care and respect into our team and the work that we do. Our work is all about creating partnerships with clients. I see the client and family members as the expert. Asking the question, “What matters to you” reinforces that.
I am also committed to asking what matters with all our team members, to help us see each other’s perspective. We are all working in very stressful environments, and when anyone is under stress then we become a little more focused on our own perspective. Asking, “What matters to you?” brings us back to what’s important.
How will you promote #WMTY17?
I’ve brought it to the two teams that I work with, the Cancer Care and Social Work teams, so I’m waiting to see what they come back with. I also picked up a number of the resources, and I will share it with those that want to participate.
What would you say to other providers in the system about #WMTY17?
It’s a campaign that represents what we are meant to do: serve our clients. It is a privilege to serve them, and asking “What Matters to You?” is one way that we can do a better job.