Healthcare professionals urged to introduce themselves to patients

Pictured at the launch of #hellomynameis: is Maurice Power, CEO, Saolta University Health Care Group with Róisín Curé, artist and Jean Kelly, director of nursing/midwifery, Saolta University Health Care Group

Pictured at the launch of #hellomynameis: is Maurice Power, CEO, Saolta University Health Care Group with Róisín Curé, artist and Jean Kelly, director of nursing/midwifery, Saolta University Health Care Group

A campaign aimed at enhancing compassionate care in hospitals by reminding healthcare professionals to introduce themselves to patients has been launched at University Hospital Galway.

The main message of the #hellomynameis campaign is to promote high quality communication in order to treat patients with dignity and respect.

This is a compassionate care initiative founded by the late British hospital consultant and former terminally-ill cancer patient Dr Kate Granger. During a hospital stay in 2013, she observed that many staff did not introduce themselves.

#hellomynameis involves more than simple introductions. It is all about making a human connection and establishing a relationship with patients on a firm foundation of mutual respect and trust.

Maurice Power, the chief executive of the Saolta Group which runs the hospital, says the campaign is all about taking those few moments to make that human connection and to build trust.

“It provides patients with reassurance that they are speaking to a professional who is responsible and who is accountable. Most importantly, #hellomynameis is about establishing a foundation for a relationship built on mutual respect.”

Chris Kane, the general manager of Galway University Hospitals, stated that simple things, such as introducing yourself, can put patients at ease and positively influence their experiences of the healthcare system. She said many of the hospital’s staff do this already.

“Patient engagement and compassion need to be at the centre of the Irish healthcare services and built into everything we do.”

This campaign is simple – reminding staff to go back to basics and introduce themselves to patients properly. The late Dr Kate Granger spoke about this as “the first rung on the ladder to providing compassionate care” and saw it as the start of making a vital human connection, beginning a therapeutic relationship and building trust between patients and healthcare staff”.

The initiative is being led by the Patient Experience committee in GUH and is supported by the Saolta Group Patient Council. As part of the campaign, the hospital will also launch its uniform recognition campaign which has been developed to help patients identify the role of the many different staff members they encounter when they attend the hospital. This project has been supported by the GUH Arts Trust.

Commenting Olive Gallagher, patient advice and liaison officer at GUH, said: “We understand that patients and their families may often feel overwhelmed by the number of different staff they meet during the course of their treatment or hospital stay. With our new uniform recognition campaign we are hoping to help our patients more clearly identify the role of the staff member caring for them. Together with the #hellomynameis campaign, we believe it is an important initiative to help improve our patients’ experience.”

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