The Cleveland Clinic’s Eighth Annual Patient Experience Summit attracted a packed room to the Tell Me More® workshop, in which more than 140 healthcare professionals explored an innovative new technique designed to help spark a personal connection with patients.
The Patient Experience Summit, hosted in Cleveland, is the world’s largest independent conference devoted to improving the patient experience. The Tell Me More® workshop on May 23 was presented by a joint team from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation, a thought leader in humanism in medicine, and the EDI Institute, which promotes personal expression and connection through imagery created on mobile devices.
The Tell Me More® program is designed to allow patients, caregivers, and hospital staff to connect with each other on a more human level. The demonstration in Cleveland included creating expressive digital images that could provide a window into a patient or healthcare professional’s life and prompt conversation that transcends traditional patient/caregiver relationships.
Why such connection matters
Higher levels of physician, care team and institutional empathy for patients has been shown to improve patient clinical outcome and patient satisfaction, and decrease provider burnout. And research has shown that one of the most effective methods of increasing empathy is sharing information about the person who is a patient, separate and distinct from their medical disease.
The first iteration of Tell Me More® was created by medical interns in 2014. They discovered that when patients wrote a few personal facts or favorite things on a simple sticky note, those sentences gave the medical staff an invaluable view into that patient’s world and an easier path to connect.
How Tell Me More® works
The latest evolution of Tell Me More®, which was presented at the Patient Experience Summit, adds imagery to its collection of tools, enabling patients, caregivers, or hospital staff to use Expressive Digital Imagery® (EDI) to easily create digital images that express what they are feeling.
MyMoments, a new and innovative mobile app, is the first solution of its kind that has been researched and developed specifically for self-expression through digital imagery. It provides a powerful and easy set of techniques that participants used to quickly create their own images after only a few minutes of training.
“In multiple healthcare settings we have consistently seen how imagery can powerfully connect people in visible and meaningful ways,” explained Steven Koppel, founder of the EDI Institute. “Tell Me More® now provides the opportunity for patients, family, and healthcare staff to create and share imagery expressing meaningful aspects of their lives — all without the need for artistic training or supplies.”
The ease of Tell Me More®
After only a few minutes of training, the workshop participants were immediately captivated and began creating their own imagery using the MyMoments app on their iPads and iPhones.
Each workshop participant in Cleveland began with a stock image or one of their own. They then created images that shared something about themselves. The finishing touch is often an explanatory caption below the image, such as “The beach gives me solace” or “Running restores me.” The entire process for creating this imagery is usually 10 minutes or less.
The imagery created in Cleveland ranged widely. Some images focused on personal details, such as hobbies and family life. Other reflective images tapped into such topics as life balance, plans for the future, and challenges to overcome.
The participants shared their images openly with each other and held conversations, sparked by the imagery, in the roles of patients and healthcare professionals.
The need for connection in hospitals
The workshop participants, who came from a variety of clinical and administrative backgrounds, were enthusiastic about the potential value of Tell Me More® at their hospitals.
As several participants shared, their work is so critical, so heavy, that sometimes caregivers simply don’t know what to say. Something to focus on — such as a healthcare professional’s favorite hobby or a specific place that brings a patient joy — would offer a powerful way to build a relationship very quickly.
“The Tell Me More® program exemplifies what the Gold Foundation is really all about – the human connection that makes such a difference in healthcare,” said Elizabeth Cleek, PsyD, Chief Program Officer and Vice President at the Gold Foundation.