Patient Relations at Eastern
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At CTCA at Eastern Regional Medical Center (Eastern), you will find many different advocates in your cancer care. As personal advocates, the members of the Patient Relations Department strive to make you feel acknowledged, understood and respected as you fight cancer.
Your personal advocates
We understand how scary this cancer journey can be, particularly when traveling to a new place for treatment. When you arrive at Eastern, you’ll meet with a patient advocate who will help put you at ease. This meeting will take place during your initial evaluation period. Your patient advocate will discuss their role in your care and make sure your needs are being met.
“I always tell patients, ‘I know that you are frightened right now, but by the end of today, you are going to feel a little different.’ And, they usually do,” says CTCA patient advocate Nancy Murphy.
Throughout your care, your patient advocate will follow up with you to address any questions or concerns you may have. They will promptly address issues by collecting information and working together with the other departments at Eastern for resolution.
Patient relations services
As part of Eastern's Outpatient Accommodations Department, the patient relations team provides a variety of services to you and your caregivers, including the following:
- Participates in the new patient orientation
- Maintains the New Patient Care Guide
- Develops the patient activities calendar
- Hosts patient activities
- Hosts patient focus group sessions
- Participates in Comfort Rounds for inpatients
- Helps to resolve conflicts
The Outpatient Accommodations team coordinates and hosts patient and caregiver activities, including weekly outings. With the help of the Transportation Department, the team will take you and your caregivers to grocery stores, movie theaters, shopping centers, and various Philadelphia sites.
Patient focus group sessions
Patient focus group sessions are a chance for you and your caregivers to voice any concerns, complaints or suggestions to CTCA administration and staff. You can provide your feedback in a sensitive, relaxed setting. Focus groups also provide the patient relations team with information about how to better meet your needs.
In addition, focus groups are an opportunity for you to be with others who are going through similar situations. “Every patient and every caregiver out there is a cheerleader for every other patient. They celebrate together. They lean on each other’s shoulders. They are their best support group,” says Chief of Surgery Dr. Steven B. Standiford.
Comfort Rounds for inpatients
The patient relations team also joins with other hospital clinicians and support staff for “Comfort Rounds.” The purpose of these visits, held twice a week for inpatients, is to help answer your questions and resolve any issues.
Patient satisfaction surveys
CTCA uses patient satisfaction surveys to gather feedback from you and your caregivers. These surveys allow you to provide anonymously any comments you may have about CTCA or your care at Eastern. We use a sophisticated database program to document and track feedback from these surveys to promptly resolve issues and improve future processes.
Empowering you to have a voice in your care
When you come to CTCA, you don't have to figure everything out on your own. Throughout your care, your patient advocate will act on your behalf and make your needs a priority.
“We really do cater to the patients. People tell us at other facilities, they were treated like a number. Here, we treat patients as family members. That’s the difference,” says Murphy.