Will You Stay With Me?

Cliff Hughes, CEO at New South Wales, Australia Clinical Excellence Commission shared a story Wednesday afternoon that exemplified what patient-centered care is all about. When Cliff’s patient, a 52-year-old truck driver named Neville was not going to live through the night, Neville asked Cliff if he would stay with him. Without hesitation, Cliff agreed and not only stayed to share prayer and poetry, but was also able to reunite Neville with his estranged daughter and 6-week old granddaughter before dying.

Cliff then posed two questions to the student scholars and patient safety leaders in the room.

“Is it unusual for you to cry?”

“Do you forget about the individual in the technology of care?”

“This is the way I want you to treat me, and how I will treat you. It’s no different in Australia than in the United States,” he said.

The final assignment for the day was for students to write down what they will change within themselves in order to deliver this depth of patient-centered care.

As Dave Mayer MD closed the meeting he reminded us of another patient-centered address given by Don Berwick MD to Yale Medical School’s 2010 graduating class. A link to a portion of his speech is found on another Transparent Health post: http://transparenthealth.wordpress.com/2010/07/

What does patient-centered care mean to you? Can you share an example of patient-centered care you delivered or witnessed at your institution?

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