Small Questions, Big Improvements in Patient-Centered Care
Rose, an 88-year-old woman with advanced dementia, was admitted to a geriatric unit in Scotland following a fall at home. She couldn’t talk, became agitated easily, and often tried to get up and walk on her own, which led to more falls. To keep her safe, a staff member had to sit with her nearly full time.
Geraldine Marsh, an Improvement Advisor for Older People’s Care on the NHS Glasgow and Clyde team caring for Rose, wondered if there was more she could do for her. So Marsh, who told the story on a recent WIHI program, decided to test an approach she’d heard about from her colleague, Jennifer Rodgers, chief nurse in pediatrics. The idea was to learn more about Rose as a person by asking her loved ones what mattered most to her. In response, one of her nieces said, “Now that you mention it, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my aunt without her rosary beads.”
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