Anyone who’s a regular at a coffee shop can relate to this scene: you walk in, and the barista behind the counter notices you. She waves, says your name, and you wave back. By the time you get to the cash register, she’s already handing you your order — just the way you like it.
If your local coffee shop can prepare for your specific preferences, why can’t your health care team?
Often, the kinds of information not typically captured in a medical record are crucial to a patient’s experience. For example, if a child sucks his right thumb, his mother may tell the sedation nurse try to inserting the IV in his left arm first. If a baby girl isn’t calmed by music but is mesmerized by a spinning toy, her father may want that toy in the room whenever she’s having an echocardiogram, so she sits still and the images are easier to interpret.
“Patients with chronic conditions return quite frequently to the same clinic for follow-up care and tests, and they shouldn’t have to repeat the same information each time,” says Brenda Brawn, RN, BSN, CCRN. “It’s not extraneous information; it can and should be incorporated into their plan of care.”
Brawn has been piloting a way to address this need in her work as a cardiac sedation nurse caring for pediatric heart transplant patients.