What is in a name? For many cancer patients hearing your name called takes on a new meaning when sitting in a busy waiting room. It means losing your autonomy and being identified by name to other patients, caregivers, and volunteers as the nurse calls you for your appointment.
This week the Cancer Centre of South Eastern Ontario at KGH will roll out their new Patient Pager System. Instead of being called by name, patients will be given a pager similar to the ones used at restaurants when they arrive for their clinic appointment.
“Clinic patients will know it is their turn to come to the check-in area, not by hearing their name called but through the silent pager that flashes red lights and vibrates,” explained Dan Hogan, the Ambulatory Oncology Clinic Coordinator.
This new innovation was made possible through a charitable gift of an anonymous donor who recognized the need for a better system to protect patient privacy.
“We find that once a health crisis is over, some patients or their families seek a way to stay involved with the hospital, or a way to find closure. Often, they do that through a meaningful donation such as this,” says UHKF President Denise Cumming. “Philanthropy can be an important part of the healing process.”
The donation paved the way and a working group, that included patient advisors, came together to find the right pager system solution.
“We ran a three month trial with chemotherapy patients who felt pagers would be most useful in the main clinic areas where wait times are longer and the wait area are less private,” said Dan.
Along with increased privacy, patients will gain more freedom as the pagers work anywhere within the Burr Wing and all the way to the tuck shop on Connell 1. They can even sit on the benches just outside or take a restroom break without fear of missing their ‘turn’.
KGH is one of the first hospitals in Ontario to use these pagers in the Health Care Setting, and there is an opportunity to role this system out to other busy clinic areas.
To see how you can help visit the UHKF website for more information.