Improving the Patient Experience: How can we do this better?

By Erica Southworth, NP

As a nurse practitioner for the past seven years, I have had the privilege of being able to help many families through one of the most difficult times of their lives.

My area of specialization and interest is working with children and families faced with the diagnosis of a solid tumor, such as neuroblastoma or Wilms tumor.

Solid tumors are complex conditions that require a full team of specialists to treat.  Families are referred to us from all over Michigan and sometimes beyond. Often, prior to being sent to us, they may have experienced a long, frustrating and seemingly endless journey towards a diagnosis. As a professional and as a mother, I have always found it frustrating to see families who, having bounced around from appointment to appointment, are exhausted and scared when finally arriving at U-M. Even after their numerous appointments, they still possess little formal information about their child’s condition or disease.

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Steal a peek at the football-themed play area in our new hospital!

With the opening of the Mott building just 5 months away, we thought we would take you through one of the areas we’re very excited about. Join us on a virtual tour through each of the nine “zones” of the new game-day themed play area located on the 8th floor of the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital!

The space was designed as a place for patients, parents and siblings to unwind and have some fun. Playful activity can be very beneficial for little ones during the healing process, and we’re sure this new space will bring smiles to patients and families’ for years to come.

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Allowing families to stay close to their children in our new hospital

Ronald McDonald House

New Ronald McDonald House allows families to be steps away from their children

When the new C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital opens this November, families with critically ill children will be able to find a place to rest at the new Ronald McDonald House within C.S. Mott. The new facility is one of only five such Ronald McDonald Houses within a children’s hospital in the world. It will be located on the 10th floor of the hospital, just steps away from the hospital’s intensive care units.

While the current Ronald McDonald House of Ann Arbor that is currently just around the corner from the hospital will continue to serve more than 600 families annually, these new accommodations will provide a short-term stay option for families of our most critically ill children, many of whom were not expecting to have their child admitted and need a place to stay while they make plans and work with the medical team to learn about their child’s condition and treatment plan. The new Ronald McDonald House within the hospital will have 12 private bedrooms with private bathrooms and a shared common space, all designed to feel as much like home as possible.

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