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Can you feel the compassion of your caregiver?

hands holding handsA hallmark of good nursing care is that hospitalized patients sense the innate compassion of their caregivers.

In this era of electronic medical records, it's not as simple as tracking the amount of time a doctor spends with a patient, or the number of flu shots dispensed.

Compassion is not so specific, and it‘s what nurses and other caregivers at Upstate University Hospital aspire to provide, along with other important measures. The business of saving lives accompanies an aim to:

  • treat patients and their loved ones with courtesy and respect,

  • listen carefully to patients and their loved ones,

  • explain things in a way that patients and loved ones can understand.

Chief Experience Officer Amy Szczesniak

Chief Experience Officer Amy Szczesniak

Every patient should feel this sort of compassion in every encounter, says nurse Amy Szczesniak, the hospital‘s chief experience officer. She joined Upstate last fall to help ensure that in addition to top-quality care, patients feel that they receive respect and compassion.

One way that is measured is through a survey, which many patients receive after they are discharged. The survey asks whether their interactions with caregivers met expectations “always,” “usually,” “sometimes” or “never” during their hospitalization. Results of the survey help Szczesniak keep track of how well hospital staff communicate their compassion.

This article appears in the spring 2016 issue of Upstate Health magazine.