Who We Are

Philanthropy helps in Transforming

The Valley Hospital Patient Experience

Thanks to a generous donation from The Robert G. and Ellen Gutenstein Foundation to the Service Excellence Scholarship Endowment in honor of Richard Keenan, five very grateful Valley Hospital employees attended the Press Ganey Regional Educational Symposium in Stamford, Connecticut on May 6-7.   At this symposium, “At the Center of Care”, the educational sessions focused on relevant current topics including empathic care, improving patient satisfaction and clinical quality, physician engagement, fostering transparency, and utilizing metrics.

Melissa Ruffilo, RN, has been a nurse in Valley’s Emergency Department for 6 years, and has been chair of the Patient Experience Improvement Team for the past five years.  Because of this relevant role combined with her passion for patient satisfaction, she was among the special group from Valley’s staff attending this informative conference. Melissa was pleased to discover that Valley is already implementing many of theER Nursing recommendations that the conference speakers suggested, and also excited to bring some new ideas back to her colleagues.  “They really emphasized the importance of being upfront with information and overall transparency,” Melissa stated. “And it’s great timing because we have been focusing on that in the Emergency Department.”  Just this spring, the emergency room implemented the care map, which is handed to every patient upon checking in which is intended to give them an idea of how long things take, estimates wait times for different procedures, etc.  Melissa noted that another benefit of attending this conference was the opportunity to network with other nurse representatives from all over the country who held similar posts within their own hospitals and being able to share experiences, learn from each other and exchange ideas.

Also in attendance was Nicole Jenny, RN, Clinical Shift Supervisor on 3A, Medical Oncology, who is a member of the Patient and Family Experience Council and has worked at Valley for the past 6 years. Nicole was pleasantly surprised that this conference was not all about surveys and numbers, but instead focused on how to improve delivery of care.  Nicole learned about patient behavior patterns from a more pragmatic standpoint:  patients tend to evaluate their healthcare experience on quality not emotion; they like the staff to communicate well with each other; they like the staff to be happy.  “There was a concentration on three key strategies-Process, People and Patient,” Nicole recalls.  “Process is focusing on and implementing best practices; People is working together and integrating a team focused approach; Patient is understanding their needs and managing their expectations.”

Thanks to the generosity of our donor community, Valley is now able to send several leaders across the continuum of care to learn and explore best practices and strategies at the Press Ganey annual National Client Conference.  Ultimately, attending these sorts of programs helps our clinicians improve the quality, safety and experience of care.