Ed Ness: Hospital Week salute: Hearing from ‘grateful’ patients

Ed Ness

Whenever I am asked about the core strength of our organization, my reply is always “the people who work here.”

Many others in leadership at Munson Healthcare have the same view. Our organization is blessed to have dedicated and highly qualified care professionals and support staff who come to work every day to help those who come through the door with their health challenges — sometimes on one of the worst days of their lives.

In honor of National Hospital Week next week (May 12-18), I want to highlight a few stories from Munson Medical Center that reinforce the truth of our health system focus on “keeping the patient at the center of all we do.”

One patient wrote recently that she visited the Emergency Department and was transferred to the Observation Unit with pain down her leg. After initial treatments, a nurse stopped in and listened as the patient described where her leg was hurting. The nurse noticed one calf was warmer than the other and appeared swollen. “Next I was on my way to have an Ultra Sound where a DVT was discovered. I felt very fortunate to have benefited from her calm, yet thorough observation and care, rather than simply following the chart. … My son graduates from nursing school in a few days and I trust he will strive to employ a posture of listening with more than just his ears, and seeing with his heart when it's appropriate, as I was indeed the beneficiary of such care and am very grateful.”

Another former patient wrote a note for an Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center therapist thanking him for his counsel that has helped the former patient overcome an addiction to alcohol. “I’ll be back to see you if anything changes for the negative and I can’t get on track my own. Thank you so much for your guidance. You rock man. Please continue doing what you do. You not only are helping people with their demons but making families stronger because of it.”

A visitor to the hospital’s cafeteria wrote to applaud how a short conversation with a Food and Nutrition employee helped make the day. “Her beautiful smile and kind words put my mind at ease. She spoke highly of Munson and the wellness benefits you offer. She encouraged me to take better care of myself without judging me. For that I truly appreciated her.”

A former surgical patient wrote back to thank nursing staff for the great care he received during a recent stay. He had this to say to a nurse assistant who helped encourage the patient’s recovery: “I didn’t want to do anything, but you made me feel like going for those walks that were so important to my recovery, and you lifted my spirits with your kind and caring attitude. Your laugh will be with me always, and I will never forget you.”

A woman wrote to commend three hospital staff members on one of the Webber Heart Center floors for their loved one’s care. “They were very professional yet down to earth and really made (the patient) feel comfortable. This isn't to say the rest of the staff didn't do a good job, but these three really made an impression. Thank you all so much from the bottom of our hearts!”

A nurse from a downstate hospital also wrote to commend nursing staff in the heart center for the care provided for a relative. She and other family members who are also nurses were impressed with the care provided by nursing and medical staff. “I could tell almost immediately that Munson is also a Magnet-designated hospital. … Please, please, please, honor these staff members for their exquisite care.”

I want to thank the community for trusting Munson Healthcare with their health needs and concerns, and I applaud our staff and physicians for the amazing ways they strive to provide high-quality care each and every day.

If you have a story you would like to share, we would love to hear it at voicesandviews@mhc.net.

Ed Ness is president and chief executive officer of Munson Healthcare.

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