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Waiter, I'll take the Q-Tips

December 12, 2014

Lafayette, CO – Dec. 12, 2014 – What comes to mind when you think of a menu? Pasta? Chicken? A side salad? What if you opened your menu to find pillows, humidifiers, sound machines and Q-tips? While it may not be a plate of buffalo wings, this is exactly what you’ll find in Good Samaritan Medical Center’s bedside menu.

By providing a selection of creature comforts to patients even when they don’t ask, the hospital is trying to deliver person-centered care, one of SCL Health’s top strategic priorities. The concept recently received a big endorsement when a Joint Commission surveyor requested a copy to show other hospitals around the country.

Originally developed by a Nurse Practice Council at Saint Joseph Hospital, the menu aims to boost patient satisfaction by tackling the little discomforts that sometimes get overlooked when administering care.

What’s Your Order?

Here’s a sample of some of the items on Good Samaritan’s Comfort Menu:

  • Earplugs
  • Eye masks
  • Chapstick
  • Toothbrushes
  • Heating pads
  • Nurse consults
  • Stretching assistance
  • Puzzles, books and cards

Too often nurses and front-line associates heard patients mention discomforts that could have easily been avoided. Perhaps the noise or lights kept someone awake at night, or a patient longed for something simple such as chapstick, hair-ties or a comb.

"Patients in the hospital are like guests in your home," says Dianne Terry, clinical manager at Good Samaritan. "They don’t always know what there is to offer, so they don’t always ask."

The menu increases awareness of all the hospital offers to make patients and families more comfortable. It includes everything from earplugs and eye masks to puzzles and books. After perusing this new menu, patients aren’t the only ones ready to place their orders. Following a site survey in November, a Joint Commission surveyor walked away with a copy. "They praised it as an excellent way to increase patient satisfaction and educate them on their options," Terry said.

Click here to view the full Comfort Menu PDF.