During Patient Experience Week (April 23-29), we’re spotlighting patient experience coordinator Vickie Barrett. Barrett started at Hillcrest in 2013, working as a senior care coordinator before her role evolved to focus on patient experience. Her work takes her all over the hospital, helping connect patients and families to services and providers throughout the Hillcrest HealthCare System. Barrett said her focus is, “facilitating clear and compassionate communication.”
Barrett works as an effective third party when patients don’t want to speak with their provider, health team or management; they want someone in between. She can often be seen with the dedicated patient experience mobile phone, nicknamed “the bat phone.”
“From compliments to concerns, this role provides me the opportunity to help address patient and consumer needs while supporting those delivering care,” Barrett said. “I work to connect individuals with the right person, department or provider so that questions or concerns are appropriately addressed. “
“When we have an opportunity to improve or provide greater clarity, I work directly with staff, the patient and their families,” said Barrett. “I believe our success is founded on the great relationships built with the staff, and at times, having a good sense of humor.”
Another important part of patient care is to ensure they are connected to a primary care provider. Barrett helps connect patients to our Utica Park Clinic physicians, often setting up an appointment for them.
Barrett uses her experience from taking care of her mother, who had Alzheimer’s, to shape the way she interacts with patients. She said sometimes, this helps her diffuse tension with a patient and family by relating to their situation.
“I visit military patients and provide them with a poster of an American flag to thank them on behalf of the entire hospital for their service,” said Barrett. “We have also learned through the years that simple things like sitting with them and listening to what they have to say, offering a patient a pair of reading glasses or acknowledging their birthday can make such a difference in their stay.”
“My favorite part of this job is interacting with the staff, meeting with a patient or family member and them expressing how I have helped them,” said Barrett. “I hope they get as much fulfillment from me as I get from them.”