Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Healthcare Spotlight: Brigham and Women's Hospital

When my father needed some work on his heart recently, we did a lot of research to find the best doctor and the best hospital, a classic chore.

So many health care institutions and health care providers seem to have lost their purpose: care.  Patients are stuffed, four or more, into poorly lit rooms, wondering when they will be attended to.  Overworked doctors only briefly check in with patients and families, who are left with questions and frustration.

We were thrilled to find that Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School in Boston, has a very different philosophy and practice.  Patients and their families are its prime focus.  Rooms are private -- that is, one patient per room -- light filled, and able to accommodate a visiting family member.  Most important, however, are the people and their care of patients and families.  The receptionists in the family center keep you up to date on your loved one's status.  The medical staff is attentive and constantly informative.  In fact, I was shocked when the attending nurse called my cell phone mid-procedure to tell me how things were going with my Dad.  And the doctor called me immediately upon completing to give me a full summary.

Brigham and Women's Hospital has not forgotten that the person is at the center of health care.  In a world that is increasingly impersonal, it is heartening to know that health care is not dead.

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