Skip to content

Children’s Colorado: Empowering pediatric families with intentional care

When a healthcare team respects a patient’s uniqueness, the patient, in turn, receives the safest care with the best outcomes. That principle is now more important than ever as pediatric hospitals and healthcare systems brace for another potential tripledemic of viruses—flu, COVID-19, and RSV—like what they experienced last year.

During October’s Becker’s Healthcare podcast, two prominent pediatric leaders discussed the critical nature of intentional practices and the importance of family-centered care. The podcast, hosted by Erica Spicer Mason, featured Shawna Grisson, Director of Family Services at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and Cami Mitelman, Customer Success Manager at NRC Health.

Children’s Hospital Colorado prides itself on intentionally pursuing Human Understanding in the care it provides to patients and families, by treating each patient as unique.

“The way we define the patient-family experience is welcoming, personalized, and collaborative,” says Grissom. “We try to always be very intentional about the way we introduce ourselves and our role here at the hospital. We think about the way we explain to families what to expect in the flow of their visit. We want to really think about how we ask families what matters most to them, and to ask them if they have questions or concerns about their child.”

Intentional behaviors/processes Children’s Colorado recommends:

  • Ask questions like, “What is your biggest question? What’s your biggest concern about your child and their health today? What matters most to you to talk about during your visit, and is there anything else that you want me to share with your care team today?”
  • Be intentional in passing along your answers to their provider, so that their care team is kept on the same page.
  • Make intentional eye contact with each person, giving them your full attention.
  • Put down phones or other objects that might make family members think they’re not your most important priority.
  • Answer the most important questions for that person in that moment.
  • Have a bedside shift handoff process in the patient room to engage the patient and parent.
  • Hand out business cards in ambulatory settings or outpatient clinics to ensure that families have a direct phone number they can use to ask questions as soon as they have them.

Join conversations with subject matter experts and thought leaders, and get an inside look at the trends shaping the future of patient experience and the ever-changing healthcare landscape.

Visit NRC Health’s Multimedia Hub with Becker’s Hospital Review →

Mitelman says that NRC Health has noticed its partners using qualitative data more than ever. They are intentional with questions that focus on Human Understanding and perform more rounding, especially in ED waiting rooms, to see if any immediate needs can be addressed immediately.

The Children’s Colorado team provides family-centered care by reevaluating systems through a new lens to make improvements. After the influx of respiratory cases last year, they learned that having the most loved people around patients was more important than limiting visitors. They expanded their visitor list and created a new policy and procedures around visitors. Now a patient can have ten guests on their visitor list, and they can have four visitors at their bedside at any given time, which speaks to the family-centered care the organization provides.

“If I’m a child here at Children’s Colorado, I can have my mom, my dad, my grandma, and my grandpa at my bedside, or I can maybe have my mom, my dad, my brother, and my sister,” Grissom says. “And that just really allows for normalization during a time when things are not so normal.”

Healthcare leaders say that treating each person in healthcare as unique—as having their own needs, concerns, preferences, and goals—is imperative for success.

“Here at NRC, we believe in enabling Human Understanding with our partners and each other,” Mitelman says. “Recognizing and respecting the individuality of each patient and offering that individualized care is important. We know that patients are the experts on their lives, and clinicians are the experts on the healthcare they deliver.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Don’t miss our 2024 Pediatric Collaborative, hosted by Children’s Colorado on March 26–27 in Denver.