May 2, 2024

What does it mean to bring better to the bedside?

Reflections for Patient Experience Week 

At Sound, each member of our team commits to bringing better to the bedside every day. It’s a pillar we stand on, no matter what role we play, and Patient Experience Week is a time to recognize and reaffirm our efforts to exceptional patient care. However, what it means to “bring better to the bedside” is not one-size-fits-all. Every clinician embodies the mission in their own way, personalizing it to their unique medical style. We asked some of our clinical leaders what bringing better to the bedside means to them, and each reflected on how they implement the concept in their own careers and patient experiences.  

Hesham Hassaballa, Bringing better to the bedsideHesham Hassaballa, MD | Program Medical Director, Tele-ICU  

“Bringing better to the bedside means never compromising on doing what’s right for the patient, the hospital partner, your team, and your community. I think we can always be better, and life is a quest for continual improvement. We’ll never reach perfection. We’ll just continue to get better. That’s a challenge for every clinician, operator, and colleague at Sound: How can I be better and bring that better to everything that I do?”  

David Leachman, Bringing better to the bedsideDavid Leachman, MD | CEO, Anesthesia 

“Bringing better to the bedside to me means consistent, high-quality care. But let’s be honest, that’s table stakes. What it really means is being able to bring a great experience to a patient. It’s the ability to recognize where they’re at, the unique situation they’re in. Whether they’re a healthy person having surgery and expecting to go home or a terminally ill patient, the ability to recognize those different experiences and come together as a team is essential to providing the best experience possible for that patient. Understanding and adapting to their current environment and situation is bringing better to the bedside.”  

Joey Calder, Bringing better to the bedsideJoey Calder, MD | Medical Director, Harrison Memorial Hospital  

“Bringing better to the bedside, to me, means caring for people like they’re family. When we do that, we treat others the way we’d want our loved ones to be treated. It adds a human side to medicine and makes it very personal. In my experience, the care is better received, and people are much more comfortable in the hospital. Our patients usually deal with something they don’t want to be going through. Providing that quality care, clear communication, and treating them with compassion — it just makes sense.”  

Kevin Dohonue, Bringing better to the bedsideKevin Donohue, DO | Associate Medical Director, Saint Joseph Hospital  

“People want to be asked about their lives, be understood, and feel like you know them as a person. They’re not ‘the congestive heart failure in room 219.’ They are Bob — a grandpa and a retired farmer. They all have stories to tell. Listening to them and letting them know you’re a clinician who is involved, caring, and actually wants to see them do well is not only good on a personal and spiritual level. When people feel like their clinician is invested in them, they’re more likely to take their medications, do the follow-up treatment plan, they’re going to get better outcomes.”  

Lauren Jacoby, Bringing better to the bedsideLauren Jacoby, DO | Systems Medical Director, CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital  

“I think bringing better to the bedside means bringing what each patient needs and wants. Within the art and the practice of medicine, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and each patient encounter is very different. I feel that it’s my gift and my calling to be a physician and to help lead others in their gift as well, helping new physicians be the best that they can be in providing holistic patient care.”  

Nat Rail, Bringing better to the bedsideNat Rial, MD | Systems Medical Director, Carondelet St. Mary’s Hospital 

“Bringing better to the bedside means being the clinician who is grounded and comfortable, even though there are always going to be things you don’t know. It is so important to communicate effectively, not only with our patients but with their families and caregivers as well. Our society seems so technical and fast-paced at times. It makes those five-minute interactions with patients even more meaningful. Being vulnerable to a patient’s uncertainty and feedback leads to driving a plan of care together. That’s not always easy to do.”  

Nicole Tong-Mitchell, Bringing better to the bedsideNicole Tong-Mitchell, DO | Systems Medical Director, the Hospitals of Providence  

“I think bringing better to the bedside just means being human. You can learn all the medical jargon, be the best technician, or score the highest marks on your exams, but it doesn’t always translate to the bedside. My patients, on average, have a seventh-grade level of education. They will not trust you to provide what’s best for them if you can’t earn their trust and understanding.”  

Sathyanarayanan Ramakrishnan, Bringing better to the bedsideSathyanarayanan Ramakrishnan, MD | National Ambassador, Medical Director, Manchester Memorial Hospital  

“The primary focus should be on the patient. I tell my team, ‘Put yourself in the patient’s shoes.’ As a patient, you’re not enjoying a vacation at a resort. Your privacy is exposed. You’re in a room where you’re feeling insecure. You feel weak, maybe even taken advantage of. You enter the hospital in this situation and must put your entire trust in the physician and care team to make you feel better. It’s a place where you don’t want to be. My teams know to leave their baggage at the door before entering a patient’s room. Bringing better to the bedside, at its most basic, is focusing on what’s right for the patient. It is listening to their needs, getting them out at the right time, ensuring they don’t need to come back, and providing all the support they need when they leave.”  

If you’d like to join us in bringing better to the bedside, browse our open opportunities on our careers site.

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