There are numerous examples as we at Team Vascular in Harlow aim to do this with every patient but one particular example comes to mind.
I think that the patient journey begins long before they come to see us and continues long after they leave us. An understanding of this is key to improving patient care and experience.
The patient was a very complex patient who had the involvement of atleast six different specialties, including us when they came to see us in clinic. They had refused removal of this line (which normally remains for few weeks in all patients) for two years and keeping it longer was fraught with difficulty. I did my reading well before the patient came through my door, including being present at the MDT where her case was discussed.
When the patient came through the door, the greatest bonding point was that I was able to tell them all that had happened to them without them having to say it to me, even though it was our first meeting. We progressed from there and we were able to reassure the patient and get them to agree on the removal of this line that numerous clinicians before me had failed.
The patients parting words were, ‘If only I had met someone who had been as honest and straightforward with me as you’d been when I first was told about this line I’d have agreed to its removal.’
My work didn’t stop there, as promised to the patient I sent our discussion and clinic letter to the patient (for them to use if they ever came in) and to the six different specialties, including A&E (lead clinician) therefore making sure that the patient care continued with clarity long after they left my clinic.
I think that good background information gathering, clarity of thought and plan when communicating with the patient and appropriate dissemination of the plan to the relevant people are all just as important as the clinical duties/interventions/operations we carry out in the care of our patients. They are important contributors to good patient experience.”