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Spiritual care important to hospital patients, survey finds

Media contact: Lisa Parro, senior public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Lisa.parro@ahss.org

Hinsdale – Patients at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital are comfortable seeking spiritual support and confident that staff respect their unique spiritual beliefs, according to a recent survey.

 

More than 100 patients surveyed said chaplain visits and prayers are very meaningful and spiritual care overall is very important to them. The findings verified the commitment of hospital chaplains and staff to providing whole-person care.

 

“This hospital has wonderful spiritual support that other hospitals don’t have,” one patient told the survey team. Another was comforted “knowing you have (spiritual) support if you need it.”

 

The hospital’s pastoral care department commissioned the survey to gain further insight into patients’ answers to the spiritual-focused question on surveys mailed home to patients. One question on the survey asks whether patients believe their spiritual needs were met during their hospital stay. Adventist Hinsdale Hospital ranks in the 80th percentile on these measures; the goal is to reach the 90th percentile by 2012, said Tricia Treft, manager of pastoral care.

 

“We wanted to delve deeper into our scores to determine what we might be missing when it comes to providing spiritual care for our patients,” Treft said. “Our plan is to analyze the results of this survey, make improvements and repeat the survey annually in order to exceed our patients’ expectations.”

 

The survey also revealed the following:

  • 86 percent of patients called chaplain visits meaningful or very meaningful;
  • 73 percent said it was important or very important to have chaplains pray with them;
  • 97 percent of patients responded favorably when asked if they believe the hospital staff respects their unique spiritual beliefs. The question refers not only to chaplains and other members of the pastoral care team but also to nurses, physicians and any other hospital representatives with whom the patient comes into contact.

 

The positive findings encouraged Treft and other leaders.

 

“Because the hospital is a vulnerable place to be, we want patients to be comfortable here,” Treft said. “Learning that nearly all the patients surveyed believe our staff honors and respects their beliefs validates our commitment to providing exceptional spiritual care to all patients regardless of their personal beliefs.”

 

Sue Baetzel, lead RN in the hospital’s ambulatory care unit, is a spiritual ambassador who regularly prays with patients.

 

“Prayer is an important aspect of patient care,” Baetzel said. “To know that somebody else cares for you – that puts people at ease.”

 

Surveys were conducted in person instead of on the phone or through the mail so that patients would feel free to “speak from their heart,” said Beverly Moon, patient experience coordinator. Moon’s team conducted the surveys over a monthlong period.

The survey team was assisted in large part by Diane Cesarone, director of quality management, who helped develop the questions and analyze the data. According to Cesarone, the results were not surprising given the organization’s commitment to extending the healing ministry of Christ.

 

The survey will be conducted at the other Adventist Midwest Health hospitals.

 

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.