Introducing: Kate Granger
Despite spending many years refining her own bedside manner, geriatrician Kate Granger had the opportunity to experience first-hand how it feels to be on the opposite side of the bedsheets when she was admitted to hospital in 2013 with post-operative sepsis.
Described by Kate as being the first rung on a ladder in providing truly person-centred, compassionate care - the lack of introduction she received from caregivers prompted Kate to launch a global campaign to make the simple act of saying “hello my name is” the first thing caregivers do as part of standard hospital care.
“Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help. They begin therapeutic relationships and can instantly build trust in difficult circumstances,” Kate explains.
When Kate received news that her cancer (an aggressive form of sarcoma) had spread from a doctor whom she’d never met, nor had taken the time to even introduce himself, she was left feeling deep psychological distress and believed that interaction left a permanent scar on her psyche.
Determined to save other patients from a similar pain and experience, Kate launched a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #hellomynameis to encourage and remind healthcare workers of the importance the gesture of introduction is to patients in their care.
Since its launch in 2013, that tweet has appeared over 2.5 billion times and within 18 months of its inception, had seen this approach to providing care endorsed by more than 400,000 caregivers across 90 organisations.
Despite having sadly succumbed to her illness, Kate’s legacy continues to grow with an International #hellomynameis Day held on July 23 each year. Dedicated to building awareness, the day also aims to honour the campaign founder and the anniversary of her death in 2016.
Why is this campaign important to us?
The success of the global #hellomynameis movement highlighted a simple course of action that significantly improved person-centred care – a major focus that underpins the quality of care being delivered across all St John of God Health Care hospitals.
“Our 3Cs Program aims to support all of our caregivers in both clinical and non-clinical roles to deliver person-centred care in every encounter, at every moment, with every person every day,” explains St John of God Berwick Hospital Director of Nursing Allison Merrigan. “And we do that through communication, connection and compassion which forms the basis of our 3Cs strategy.”
The 3Cs of St John of God Health Care
Introduced at our Murdoch Hospital in 2016, the 3Cs Program was reviewed and standardised for adoption across all SJGHC facilities and services with the aim of developing a team-based approach to implementing quality improvement projects that fit the following three criteria:
- We see and treat the whole person by including our patients in the handover process and any other discussions and decisions surrounding their care.
- Our patients know how to make complaints and provide feedback.
- Our patients are our ‘partners’ in their care and we feel ‘with’ them in their discomfort or suffering.
- We make eye contact and introduce ourselves.
- We confirm the identity of the patient.
- We encourage two way sharing of information about a patient’s condition and treatment.
“The 3Cs is the ethos we subscribe to that covers our commitment to the way we deliver care to our patients,” says St John of God Health Care General Manager South East Melbourne Hospitals, Lisa Norman.
“It’s all about recognising that every patient is a person with individual needs and wants about the way they’d like to be cared for. Not introducing ourselves can leave patients feeling disconnected, unsure and confused. By taking the time to say, ‘hello my name is …’ we can deliver the connection, communication and compassion to our patients that we continuously strive to provide.”
You can learn more about Kate and the #hellomynameis movement in this YouTube video.
Image: Kaitlyn, an oncology specialist for St John of God Health Care, helps kick off the “hellomynameis…” initiative across our South East Melbourne Hospitals.