Why the Patient Experience Matters:
My Story with UMC
April 26, 2021
Guest blog written by Adam Carpenter
Something BIG is happening at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (UMC)!
They decided to change their philosophy and practice surrounding patient-centered care.
I’m going to share their story with you, but first I’d like to share my own experience as a patient. If you’ve ever gone through something similar, you will understand the value of a positive patient experience, and why the philosophy of hospitals like UMC are so critical to the healing process.
My Patient Story: From Invincible to Vulnerable
A little more than a decade ago, at 20 years old, I found myself in a position that I had never – and could never have – imagined. I was still living under my youthful cloak of invincibility, impervious to the ails of the outside world. Strong and healthy, I had never even broken a bone. The closest I had been to visiting a doctor was having a lifeguard pat me with vinegar and breadcrumbs to help heal a jellyfish sting. Still, I was back out in the water the very next day! I fully believed that my cloak of invincibility would keep me protected. That was my perception anyway, and it only took a little, nagging headache to forever alter it.
“There’s something about the size of a quarter in your brain, and you’re going to need surgery.” The doctor’s words hit me like a snap from Thanos’ fingers, as though the rest of my life could vanish in an instant (from the movie Avengers: Infinity War, for those who haven’t seen it).
There was a complete sense of helplessness as I addressed my new surroundings. My protective cloak was now an old hospital gown, my comforting blanket swapped for sheets that were cold and worn. The familiarity of home was gone. I felt incredibly alone despite being surrounded by hundreds of strangers and hospital staff.
I had always prided myself on being independent and capable, yet for several days after my surgery, I couldn’t even use the restroom or shower without help. At least I could still eat and drink regular food. The poor guy I shared a room with couldn’t even do that.
However, my entire outlook shifted once I gained enough energy to take short daily walks. I discovered that the hospital had a big, open lobby, where each day someone would come in and play the piano for a few hours.
The only melodies I had heard since my hospitalization began were the constant droning of beeps from my hospital room and MRI machines. Compared to the awful noises that I had heard for days, I felt like I had been transported to a concert hall for a Beethoven symphony!
The lobby then gave way to a beautiful, lush, and colorful garden, which might as well have been a forest after days cooped up in the same bland four walls of my hospital room. The first time I stepped out into the garden, I felt like Dorothy waking up in Oz and having my world transformed to full color! While the often-used phrase “stop and smell the roses” may be a bit cliché, it was absolutely the catalyst for me to heal.
From Patient, to Patient Experience Champion
More than a decade later, I once again find myself in a position that I had never – and could never have – imagined. Now, as a Client Success Specialist for Healing HealthCare Systems, I am awarded the opportunity to help patients and staff around the country with their own healing through the remedy of music and nature, just as it helped me in my healing process.
The C.A.R.E. Channel gives patients the ability to experience the same healing benefits of nature that gave me strength and inspiration, even if they can’t physically leave their beds. I am constantly humbled by the feedback we receive daily from patients and their families, who share their most personal and intimate stories of how The C.A.R.E. Channel gave them peace and comfort when they needed it most.
The most meaningful relationships I’ve formed in my current role are those with hospital staff. Many of them have reached out to us after witnessing firsthand the positive impact The C.A.R.E. Channel has on their patients and staff. This feedback is the life force of what we do. It even moved us to create an entire video series highlighting several unique and inspirational stories from patients and staff whose lives were touched by our C.A.R.E. Programming.
It was during one of these video shoots that I had the opportunity to meet two inspiring nurse innovators and change makers, Debbie McKinney (BSN, RN, OCN, HMIP) and Michelle McGrorey (BSN, RN, HNB-BC, OCN, HTCP, NCCA, HMIP).
University Medical Center & The C.A.R.E. Channel
Debbie and Michelle have made it their mission to change the way their hospital looks at patient-centered care. They started this transformation by finding The C.A.R.E. Channel, and then tirelessly worked to bring it to their hospital.
Over the next several years, they learned how important C.A.R.E. is to everyone at their facility, eventually developing and leading research projects that demonstrated the benefits of C.A.R.E. for their patients and staff. When I heard how meaningful C.A.R.E. was to the UMC community, I knew their story was destined for a much broader reach.
With support and gratitude towards these two wonderful individuals and their team, I now wish to share the story of how The C.A.R.E. Channel was discovered and implemented at UMC, and all the wonders it worked throughout their hospital. Please enjoy hearing about their C.A.R.E. journey in the video below.
As a final note, I am in awe that through my work as a Client Success Specialist, I get to be a regular part of the healing journey for so many people around the world. Hearing their stories, no matter how many times, moves me in ways which, again, I never could have imagined. On behalf of your Client Success team and everyone here at Healing HealthCare Systems, I sincerely hope this video does the same for you.
Adam Carpenter is the Client Success Specialist at Healing Healthcare Systems. Adam ensures each client has a successful and smooth implementation.
Before working with us, Adam spent 7 years teaching and running an after-school program throughout the district, and ran a volunteer program for a year at a local non-profit.
In his free time, Adam enjoys recording and performing music, which he has had the good fortune to do around the country. He also loves reading, watching documentaries, and learning about astronomy!