High-Quality Care Is About Good Communication
Today—more than ever—communication at best can be challenging. Consider these questions:
- How do we ensure that our patients understand their discharge instructions?
- Are we communicating in the patient’s preferred language?
- Do we provide written materials in the patient’s preferred language?
Comfort in the Familiar
Providing care that is a reflection of the patient’s experience is of utmost importance to us. Before we have even developed a relationship with a patient, we are compelled to ask some very personal questions in order to make a complete and accurate assessment of their needs. Having someone they’re comfortable with—who perhaps speaks their preferred language—can give our patients a greater level of comfort in knowing we have someone on our staff who understands their concerns. Through our Interpretation/Translation Services Department, we provide these services to our patients at no cost.
Professional Services Ensure Accurate Translation
We have heard stories of individuals who had a family member provide interpretation services and inadvertently left out some important information. Our services ensure that complete and accurate information is shared with our patients.
“Communication is critical in understanding and supporting the patient’s medical, emotional, and cultural needs. As part of our mission to serve and help all people and build healthier communities, we make every effort to provide language services and communications resources for people who do not speak English and people who have hearing or visual impairments. As part of this effort, we employ two staff members who serve as interpreters or arrange interpreting services by contacting professional interpreting agencies. Interpreters may be scheduled for on site visits or via telephone to serve our patients or guests.”
Manager, Guest Relations
Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services
Atrium, formerly Middletown Regional Hospital, received certification by the Center for Multicultural Competency in Healthcare Organizations (CMCHO) as a culturally competent health care facility. The first in the United States to be certified, Atrium was recognized as a leader in the delivery of culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS) to diverse patient populations.
This certification says that our hospital is on the right path toward delivering quality care to all patients every day and toward continuous improvement in our ability to serve diverse communities. We invite outside examination and critique of our staff and our processes in an effort to constantly improve the services we offer to the many different people who live in our communities.
Spiritual Care and Diversity at Atrium
Spirituality is often a powerful force in your understanding of the meaning and quality of life as well as the healing process. Sensitivity to diversity issues and respect for the religious traditions of our patients and staff is a core value of Atrium. This is reflected through our Pastoral Care Department. Chaplains provide ministry and counseling, which includes assessing spiritual and emotional needs of patients and their families.
The following services are available to our patients:
- Counsel, conversation, and spiritual companionship
- Ministry of presence
- Encouraging patients to tell their story
- Private prayers with patients
- Resource for ethical issues
- Assistance in developing a support system with their faith community
- Providing Bible and other reflective materials
- Rituals such as sacraments, anointing, reconciliation, Eucharist
- Music, guided imagery, health touch for relaxation
- Emotional and spiritual support to families
- Support group services
“It takes a balance of head and heart to help journey with patients through illness and sometimes death. Empathy and sympathy are important, but so is knowledge of and respect for the patient’s cultural, family, and spiritual beliefs. Sensitivity to diversity makes me a better chaplain.”
Learn more with our Cultural Communications Guide. To open this file you’ll need Adobe® Acrobat Reader®, which you can download for free.
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