Cassandra Lewis, Inpatient and Outpatient Clerk Training Officer at The Ottawa Hospital
Staff at The Ottawa Hospital work hard to give patients the same type of care that we would want for our loved ones. We believe a smile and a “Hello my name is…” is a key first step when meeting people. While our staff already do this on a daily basis, members are now formalizing their commitment by making this their pledge for Change Day Ontario. This will help patients feel more comfortable and at ease knowing who they’re speaking to.
The #HelloMyNameIs campaign began in Britain with Dr. Kate Granger. Diagnosed with end-stage cancer, she observed that many staff caring for her did not say their names or wear their correct ID badge. She and her husband planned a social media campaign to urge and remind healthcare staff about how key an introduction is.
“I firmly believe that is it not just about common courtesy, but it runs much deeper,” said Dr. Granger. “When you meet someone and say your name, you are making a human bond. That bond is between one human being who is sick and vulnerable, and one human being who wishes to help. This builds trust right away, in what is often a hard time. In my mind, #HelloMyNameIs is the first rung on the ladder to giving care that is truly centred around the patient.”
As a team of nearly 1,200, across four campuses city-wide, the clerks at The Ottawa Hospital have an important role to play in communication. They are commonly the first contact when patients and family members arrive to the clinics and units, and the voice on the other end of the phone. They are greeting patients and family members, scheduling their appointments, coordinating the clinics and units, and helping to guide patients at The Ottawa Hospital.
Shangladia, a medicine clerk at The Ottawa Hospital, was one of the many clerks to formalize the #HelloMyNameIs pledge for Change Day Ontario:
“I’m a clerk in Medicine at The Ottawa Hospital, and I’ve been working here for just over three years. What I love most about my job is being the person everyone turns to for help. I help nurses, doctors, visitors – everyone. It’s vitally important for me to introduce myself to patients, because it builds trust. They then feel more comfortable to come see me and to ask me questions about hospital services or their care during their stay. Personally, I feel it’s essential for any person working in healthcare to be compassionate. Because I’ve also been a patient, I have a lot of empathy for each and every patient. I can imagine myself in their position with the hope of receiving quality care.”
The Communications team and the Clerk Training Officer went to many different clinics and units across the four campuses to explain the #HelloMyNameIs campaign to clerks, get their pledges, and take their photos for a photo mosaic to display. The clerks were happy to participate in the initiative, enthusiastic about the campaign, and inspired to implement a positive change and improve patient-centred care at the Ottawa Hospital.