Seung-Hee Shon is a pharmacist at Providence Transitional Care Centre (PTCC) and plays a critical role in helping patients return home safely. Seung-Hee is involved at various steps throughout the patient journey and works collaboratively with other health facilities, team members, patients and their families.
Seung-Hee says her work begins prior to admission. She ensures the hospital has the patient’s most accurate medication history and gathers complete medication lists for the physicians and staff providing care.
“The risk of medication errors can increase as a patient transitions and moves through the health care system. It is our top priority to reduce the risk of errors so that we have accurate information and we can provide the most optimized therapies,” explains Seung-Hee.
When she is not busy reviewing patients’ medication throughout their stay or preparing for an admission, Seung-Hee can be found re-stocking and distributing medications on the units. And when it comes time for discharge from the hospital to home, Seung-Hee is very involved in the intricate process.
“As discharge approaches, I provide medication counselling for patients and their caregivers. Discharge and the transition home or to the community can be scary. We do our very best to communicate clearly, listen to concerns and ease some of those nerves,” explains Seung-Hee.
To help patients and their families better understand the steps in the intricate process of discharge, staff at PTCC have developed a new road map graphic to guide people along the journey, and it’s turning heads.
The new road map has been installed on patient floors and it is enhancing the overall patient experience. The easily visible graphic with bright colours are eye-catching. Its purpose is to outline the milestones in the care plan and to help people feel supported for the duration of their stay. Each dot visible on the graphic, represents a specific step along their journey – and for most patients whose stay is 30 to 60 days – marking their own progress on the map can make their stay feel shorter. This engaging and informative visual allows patients and their families to know exactly where they are in the process, what to expect next and who to talk to on their care team if they have specific questions.
“This map allows our staff to be very intentional and talk patients and their families through every step during their stay here,” says Tracy Kent-Hillis, Director, Professional Practice and Clinical Support Services.
“Our whole team is engaged with planning for discharge and that actually starts upon admission. A 30 to 60 day stay truly flies by when everyone is working well together,” she adds.
For Seung-Hee, the interactive map provides clear, user friendly images and language that is easy to understand. She says the instructions and information help her patients feel empowered along their wellness journey, which helps her do her job. “Prescriptions can often have abbreviations that can be confusing for people. I go over everything with them, provide explanations and answer questions. The map supports our patients in having a full understanding of what they need to do once they arrive here at PTCC and again when they get to their next destination,” says Seung-Hee.
The role of a pharmacist, when you enter the hospital as a patient, is not the one that often comes to mind when you think of your care. However, when patients and their caregivers meet Seung-Hee it is obvious how important her contributions to the team are. Now, with the new, interactive road map at PTCC, everyone has a better understanding about when and how to interact with Seung-Hee and discuss their medication needs.