In July of last year, Roane Medical Center announced a new initiative that invited former patients and family members to provide feedback and suggestions related to various aspects of a hospital experience. The hospital sought out applicants for volunteer members from the community, and representatives from the hospital staff to serve on the council.
After the initial call for applications, Roane Medical Center reviewed the applicants and selected several candidates for follow-up interviews. The goal was to provide an even number of council members from the internal staff at the hospital and external members from the community. The internal candidates selected from the Roane Medical Center staff to serve on the council are: Dr. Kristin Cardona, Beth Kincaid, Amanda Owings, Jeff Westbrooks and Hannah Schubert. External council members from the community selected are: Barbara Capell, Co-Chair; Rev. Sue Lynn Johnson, George Pope, Lynne Spires and Joyce Woods. The council meets on a regular basis and work together on projects to enhance quality, service and safety at the hospital.
“There is no better way to listen to the voices of our customers than to spend time with them and hear their stories,” said Gaye Jolly, President/CAO Roane Medical Center. “In turn, they can learn from hospital staff about medical roles and healthcare challenges, and we can all collaborate to help Roane Medical Center provide excellent care.”
The council’s first meeting last fall, was an orientation session to learn more details on their role and how they can help with their communities’ health care needs. Council facilitator Martha Smith, Manager of Quality and Care Management at Roane Medical; says, “First, the council divided their projects into long-term and short-term goals. These projects range from reviewing hospital information given to patients for understanding to making suggestions on how to improve patient care communication.”
The council members serve as liaisons to better enhance the knowledge of healthcare services available in our area. One example of this is by having a local Roane County Senior Services Directory, published through the Mid-East Community Action Agency, available to patients and visitors at Roane Medical Center.
The members are committed to playing an active part in providing educational opportunities for seniors and making our community aware of the services that are available to them in this area. They have focused interest in providing patients with basic information on Hospice and end of life care, as they felt this was a service that needed addressing to the population. The Covenant Hospice brochure will now be used as the initial introduction to Hospice for patients and their families. Several of the external members work with other community groups and individuals who can help collaborate with Roane Medical Center in providing educational opportunities about services available. Specific educational programing is in the next phase of planning for the council. “Each of the council members are engaged, energetic and take their responsibility of being a council member very seriously, says Martha, “They are truly committed to making RMC the first and best choice for healthcare in our area.”
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Amanda Owings, Barbara Capell, Beth Kincaid, Dr. Kristin Cardona, Gaye Jolly, George Pope, Hannah Schubert, Jeff Westbrooks, Joyce Woods, Lynne Spires, Martha Smith, patient experience, patient family council, Sue Lynn Johnson