Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Integrating art into patient quality and safety

Well, I discovered a veritable treasure trove of health care quality and safety advocates here in Melbourne, some of whom I have "known" for years on social media and some new encounters.  We all had lunch together, organized by Marie Bismark, and I was brought up to date on some of the things happening here.  I'll just mention a couple for now, with more to follow.

Catherine Crock (seen here with Marie) heads up the Australian Institute for Patient and Family Centred Care.  As noted on their website:

The Australian Institute for Patient & Family Centred Care brings patients, families and healthcare professionals to the table together, to transform people’s experience of healthcare. We aim to achieve this through a three-fold approach:
  1. Develop partnerships between patients, their families and health professionals
  2. Create a culture that is both supportive and effective
  3. Improve healthcare environments through high-quality integrated art, architecture and design.

There are two programs of note that I'd like to share.  One is Hear Me, a 40-minute HealthPlay written by playwright Alan Hopgood.  The play focuses on the importance of patient and family involvement and empowerment as partners in their own health care.  AIPFCC makes the play available to requesting health care institutions and performs it for them.  Catherine notes:

There is enormous potential for improving the quality and safety of healthcare by encouraging communication and partnerships between patients, families and health professionals and fostering an employee empowerment culture. The play can have a significant and novel role in the education of patients, families and staff.

Following the performance, the audience participates in a stimulating facilitated discussion forum (30 minutes), led by a trained facilitator, on team communication, clinical incident disclosure and patient centred care. The forum is a critical component of the play, allowing for debrief, practical application and ideas for change. 

The play has been performed in many locations in Victoria, with excellent reviews.

The other program is called Hush, and comprises a series of musical pieces. Catherine introduced music into The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, to reduce the stress of hospital procedures for the children, Catherine recognised the effectiveness of involving patients and their families in the treatment program.  Now, a large number of CDs (some shown above) are available for people to use in their own settings.

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