Putting a name to a face: GEM Kew’s response to patient feedback

The GEM Unit in Kew has embraced the Productive Ward framework that has been rolled out to 24 inpatient areas across St Vincent’s Hospital.  Based on lean thinking, the program focuses on collecting and responding to data in four domains: patient safety, efficiency of care, patient experience and staff wellbeing.

Staff from this GEM Unit recently completed a patient survey, where it was identified that a significant proportion of patients and their family members found it difficult to identify the staff members involved in their care.  Specifically, they had trouble matching staff faces to their names and roles on the ward.

IMG_4316 copy 2postStaff members in this area decided to trial a very simple intervention: clear badges with information on the staff member’s name and role.  To ensure that the badges were accessible to GEM’s elderly population, research detailing the optimal font type and size was sourced.  They are currently being trialled on the ward with great responses from patients and visitors.

An additional, unexpected benefit was identified: staff members across multiple disciplines, including medical and environmental support services now know each other’s names!

Steph, a physio on the GEM ward says: “the reaction to the name badges has been overwhelmingly positive.  Patients who would ordinarily be unable to recall my name or face, despite meeting me a number of times, now react like I am well known to them.  Staff are greeting each other more often as we now know each other’s names.  Even family and friends of the patients on the ward have reacted positively to the name badges.”

The next step will be to re-deploy the patient survey to quantify improvements in identifying staff members and to see if there are any other opportunities for innovation.

As The Productive Ward program encourages sharing learning and ideas between ward areas, a number of other subacute units across St Vincent’s Hospital have adopted this clear method of identification with great response from patients and staff alike.

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