The brainstorming started last spring. How can patients illustrate to off-site support services staff what their work means to patients and families?
“Some of our support service staff, like environmental services, get to go into the hospital rooms, meet patients, and see the end product of their work,” said Kori Jones, PFCC Embedded Coach. “But laundry services staff do not ever meet patients. They work off campus in a big, industrial building; there’s not much to it aesthetically.”
The work laundry services employees accomplish on a daily basis, however, is astounding. Every day, they process 37,000 pounds of laundry. Employees sort, wash, dry, iron and fold laundry at the Laundry Service Facility, while Distribution is located in Old Mott. “Distribution employees take the laundry up to each unit, but they don’t go into the rooms or meet patients. Even though it directly impacts patients, they can’t see their work.”
In the end, it was decided that PFCC would bring the patients to the staff. Eight patient advisors were invited to participate in a photo shoot. The photographer also went to inpatient rooms to photograph a baby and teenager. In mid-December, they hung the huge photos in both the warehouse and Distribution Department at the Hospital.
“We did it over the weekend so when staff came back, it was a big surprise,” said Kori. “My main hope is that it makes them feel appreciated.” In addition, PFCC Advisor Georgiann Ziegler visited that day to say thank you in person.
“Georgiann really brought it home,” added Rolando Croocks, Laundry Services Director. “This is why we do what we do.” Rolando and his team have been partnering with the Patient and Family Centered Care Program for many years on Patient Family surveys, a gown redesign, and other projects.
“We can’t make decisions without learning about how it effects patients and their families,” said Rolando. “The Gratitude Project has had a tremendously positive effect on staff in terms of helping them understand the value of work. That’s a difficult task because we’re offsite. This connects them to the overall mission of our organization.”
The Gratitude Project photos will be refreshed periodically so if you are a PFCC Advisor who would like to participate, please contact Kori at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-763-9908.