The Human Side of Patient Care

I was once again reminded of the great team at LASH (LA Surge Hospital) when the CMO stated he wanted to start hearing the stories of our patients (without violating HIPAA of course). One of the Medical Directors then reminded us that if the patient ended up at LASH, they were extremely sick at one point and to make it to discharge is something to celebrate. In keeping with these sentiments, the leadership team initiated a new process. This new process is not one that will be written into policies and procedures, educated to annually for all staff, or held to any regulatory standards. However, it will be a process that I believe will be one of the most meaningful for the patient outside of the outstanding medical care they received.

At time of discharge, an overhead announcement will be made of the pending discharge. All available staff are invited to meet at the “exit door” to see the patient off and celebrate their departure. This new process began last week. I was not able to attend but was told, as you can only imagine, it was a very emotional and meaningful experience for the patient, their family, and staff present. In addition to this send off through the exit doors, one of the pharmacy technicians happened to be on the nursing unit when the patient was leaving the floor and she said the send off from the nursing unit was something to behold as the cheers erupted for the surviving patient.

LASH is a locked down facility with one way in or out for staff, one way in for patients, and, God willing, a patient “exit door” which takes them past a cheering group of dedicated healthcare workers. Let’s celebrate life together!

Terri Vidals
Terri Vidals

Terri has been a pharmacist for over 30 years and is a drug diversion mitigation and monitoring subject matter expert. Her years of experience in various roles within hospital pharmacy have given her real-world insight into risk, compliance, and regulatory requirements, as well as best practices for medication and patient safety.

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