Every staff member throughout this hospital and clinic network—from housekeeping to hospital administrator—makes a difference in the lives of our patients and their families. This is the message that Kim Miller, Director of Environmental Services (EVS), has been working extremely hard to instill throughout the halls of this facility. And it’s working…
“I have two employees who recently touched the lives of not only our patients, but their family members as well,” said Miller. “Both received personal cards from patient’s family members. One included a picture of my EVS team member with the patient. The other was from a 15-year-old patient that comes to the hospital quite often, but both the 15-year-old and his mom gave a personal card on how much they touched their lives.
“I’ve worked so hard to empower my staff with this message,” said Miller. “We ARE here for the patients, we DO make a difference. And it’s paying off! I can’t be more proud of all my staff!”
Housekeeper Evelyn Wilson was one of the recipients of a card from a patient’s family. In the card, written by the daughter of a patient, were the heartfelt words: “Dear Evelyn, Thank you for being such a bright star in our mom’s and our family’s life during her last few days. Life is so precious, and so are the people that’ show up’ in times of challenging transitions and offer their gifts to others. You are, most certainly, one of these people. We are so grateful for you…”
Reading the card brought tears to my eyes,” said Evelyn. “I was so surprised and thrilled when I opened the card which she had personally taken the time to write and mail to my home. It really touched my heart.”
Another recipient of a hand-written card was housekeeper Rosie Ho. Rosie, who’s worked here at Valley for 26 years, said the mother of a patient found her in the hall to hand-deliver a thank you card. “I was in tears,” said Rosie. “I didn’t expect it at all. I was just doing my job.”
According to Miller, the culture has greatly changed over the years. “Previously we were to go into patient rooms and were not to disturb the patient or the family members. Interaction with patients and family members was unheard of when it came to EVS. With the introduction of AIDET (an acronym that stands for Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank You) a whole culture had to be changed. Staff were now expected to actually speak to the patients and their family members. Stopping and taking a moment to teach our patients about what we do and how important they are to us, builds trusting relationships.
I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this team,” continued Miller. “They’ve embraced AIDET and they’re proud of the work they do. They are the first line of defense in breaking the chain of infection, and their roles are so crucial in the health and well-being of our patients.”