Empath Health’s mission is to serve our communities through extraordinary Full Life Care for all. Are we completing that mission? There is only one way to find out: Ask the patients and families who receive the compassionate care we provide.

April 29-May 3 is Patient Experience Week, an annual event to celebrate healthcare staff impacting patient care every day. Every Empath Health colleague, in every Empath Health affiliate plays a vital role in maximizing the patient experience.

To commemorate Patient Experience Week, Empath Health has chosen a few Extraordinary Stories that show colleagues across our healthcare affiliates going above and beyond in the best interests of patients. These stories were shared between colleagues, but we’re proud to give you a glimpse at what great patient experience means at Empath Health.

Suncoast PACE

The story starts on a Friday at 4:53 pm. The PACE Home Team is notified that a patient had arrived home from a respite stay and discovered that his oxygen concentrator and other belongings had not been transferred with him. As the team investigated further with the family, they realized the patient also had no medications.

It’s now 7:00 pm when LPN Heather connects with the family. It’s after-hours and this situation is outside of her usual territory. Nonetheless, Heather decides to drive from St. Petersburg to the facility in Clearwater, where the patient had his respite stay. She collects all his equipment, medication and belongings.

It’s 7:30 pm when she makes it back to the patient’s home. The family is waiting for her at the door, grateful, supported and relieved.

Without Heather’s dedication, this oxygen-dependent patient would have likely ended up back in the hospital.

Tidewell Hospice

Triage RNs stand at the ready to address urgent needs and follow-up on team requests after hours. Due to the nature of their work, they don’t often have the opportunity to see the patient over time.

Triage nurse Briana Kilgore was assigned to a patient who required daily pain-control pump checks. Briana, who works weekends, had the chance to see the patient a few times, but then wasn’t assigned again.

Then Briana was reassigned to this patient. She was excited to see them again, and so touched that they remembered her! “You’re so nice. Please come!” the patient said when Briana called to schedule.

Briana asked to see the patient every weekend and valued learning so much about the patient’s life. From the big stuff – her grandchild was about to be born and the patient was hoping to make it to cut the cord – to the smaller details, including which Philosophy Bath & Body scents she loves the most.

Briana said, “She’s so nice to talk to, and she said that she loved seeing me.” That’s a level of appreciation after-hours nurses, who quietly step in during those off hours, don’t usually get to hear.

Empath Home Health

A phone call came into the Fort Myers office from a patient who was just discharged, and he wanted to share about the care he received. The patient went on for several minutes about how much he appreciated four colleagues. RN Tracy was very friendly and made him feel like family. Speech-language pathologist Patricia went above and beyond in her teaching and time. Physical therapist Anastasion was a complete joy and full of encouragement. Occupational therapist Kristine “KNOWS HER STUFF!” This patient went on about how he was thankful for all their time and patience throughout his care.

Suncoast Hospice of Hillsborough

A patient at Tampa General Hospital wanted to go home to see his family, most especially his 3-year-old grandson, for whatever time he might have remaining. Respiratory therapists Sam and Denise came together to attend to this wish.

Sam was told by the hospital staff there was no way the patient would make it home. Yet Sam was determined to honor this person’s last wish. He collaborated with Denise and together they found a way to make it work. The patient made it home and spent valuable moments with his family. Denise and Sam ensured the patient was comfortable and the family stayed well-informed moment to moment.