Celebrating Patient Experience Week: Putting Kids First

By Laurie Strongin, Hope for Henry Founder and CEO

As we celebrate Patient Experience Week from April 29 to May 3, it’s an opportune time to reflect on the profound impact that the patient experience has on medical outcomes and overall well-being, particularly for the youngest patients. At Hope for Henry, we are committed to putting kids first and ensuring that their time in the hospital is medically effective, emotionally supportive, and empowering.

The connection between the patient experience and medical outcomes cannot be overstated. Research consistently shows that when patients have positive experiences, they are more likely to adhere to treatment plans, experience less anxiety and stress, and ultimately achieve better health outcomes. This is especially true for children, whose emotional and psychological well-being are closely intertwined with their physical health.

At Hope for Henry, we recognize that being a pediatric patient is a unique experience. Children are often more vulnerable and sensitive to their surroundings, and their ability to understand and cope with illness and hospitalization differs from that of adults. Creating a positive and supportive environment for pediatric patients is critical.

A good patient experience in the hospital is not just about receiving quality medical care; it’s about feeling safe, supported, and cared for every step of the way. For children, this means having access to child life specialists who can help them understand and cope with medical procedures in a way that is age-appropriate and confidence-building. It means providing opportunities for play, education, and social interaction to help alleviate boredom and loneliness. It means supporting their recoveries with tools like Hope for Henry’s Super Rewards for Super Kids program, which combines education, coping strategies, and incentives to nudge kids toward improved outcomes and celebrate those successes with rewards. It means that families feel informed, included, and supported throughout the treatment process.

The benefits of an improved patient experience extend far beyond just medical outcomes. Children who have positive experiences in the hospital are more likely to feel resilient and confident in their ability to overcome challenges. They develop a sense of trust and rapport with their healthcare providers, which lays the foundation for better communication and collaboration in the future. And perhaps most importantly, they can maintain a sense of normalcy despite their illness, fostering emotional resilience and a positive outlook on life.

As we celebrate Patient Experience Week, let’s all recommit ourselves to putting kids first and ensuring that every child who walks through the doors of a hospital feels valued, supported, and empowered to take an active role in their healing journey. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of pediatric patients and their families, one positive experience at a time.

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