Feb 2, 2021 Patient Experience Team Earns Recognition for Heroism During Pandemic

The Leapfrog Group Recognized RWJBarnabas Health for Connecting Patients and Their Families When COVID-19 Restricted Visitation

Patient Experience Team
The Patient Experience Team

West Orange, NJ, January 25, 2021– RWJBarnabas Health’s Patient Experience Team was awarded Special Recognition for Heroism During the Pandemic by The Leapfrog Group, an independent national watchdog organization of employers and other purchasers focused on health care safety and quality. The honor recognizes heroes who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to patient safety, quality and experience amidst the COVID-19 crisis.

“At RWJBarnabas Health, we are on a continuous journey to become a high-reliability organization, uniting our health system in a culture of safety to achieve top-tier clinical outcomes and to deliver the highest quality care and safest experience to our patients, communities and workforce,” said John F. Bonamo, MD, MS, FACOG, FACPE, Executive Vice President, Chief Medical and Quality Officer of RWJBarnabas Health.

“Despite the extraordinary circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic created, our dedicated Patient Experience Team remained committed to listening and learning from our patients’ diverse perspectives and firsthand experiences. Their connections with patients inspired ideas on how to enhance service delivery and quality improvement efforts. This recognition from the Leapfrog Group highlights how their dedication has positively impacted care on both a personal and clinical level.”

The RWJBarnabas Health Patient Experience team delivers patient-centered care by listening to patients and their family members and then working with staff to improve services that affect patients and family members.

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the RWJBarnabas Health Patient Experience Team was able to keep patients and families connected by providing iPads for virtual visits when visitor restrictions were placed for safety reasons. This provided families with the opportunity to virtually see their loved ones. Additionally, drop-off zones were created as a way for families to safely drop off any special, personal and/or inspirational items that Covid patients wanted during their hospital stay.

Another way to help keep families informed about their loved ones’ care was via phone calls to the family with updates on the patient as well as a check-in on how the family was emotionally feeling.

During these calls, Patient Experience Team members would ask families to tell more about their loved one in the hospital so that they could then share and create “Getting to Know You” boards that displayed personal information and pictures of the patients that could be hung in the patient room for hospital staff to connect to and learn more about the patient.

Keeping patients informed and connected assisted with the healing process. One family member stated, “It makes me feel like people at the hospital really care, especially when I cannot be there to comfort my son. I know he is in the best possible hands at RWJBarnabas Health.”

Nominations for this one-time award were submitted by hospital staff and leadership across the United States. Winners were selected by an interdisciplinary committee of Leapfrog leaders and advisors.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has required hospitals and people who work in hospitals to sacrifice and lead as never before. Leapfrog holds hospitals accountable for the highest standards of excellence in patient care because we know how important it is, and never more so than during a health crisis. So, we are honored to give special recognition to RWJBarnabas Health for their heroism during the pandemic,” said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “We thank them for their profound service to their community and their powerful example for all Americans.”

Read our Patient Experience Promise page for more about our commitment to delivering high quality, compassionate, family-centered care.