1Metro South Health, Woolloongabba, Australia
#hellomynameis is an international campaign established by Dr Kate Granger while undergoing treatment when terminally ill. It highlights the critical importance of personal introductions and clear communication between health professionals and patients in healthcare.
Effective communication has been linked to many benefits, including better patient outcomes and improved relationships. Knowledge of the treating health professional’s name is significant in initiating and maintaining a positive therapeutic partnership (Parsons, 2016). Knowledge of a health provider’s role has been associated with patient and staff satisfaction, helpfulness to patients and sense of pride (Santen et al, 2004). The importance of staff knowing each other’s names has also been linked to patient safety (Hackett, 2017).
Another strategy found to strengthen communication between patients and their family and the treating team are the use of communication boards beside the bedside containing patient centred information (Papa & Lefton, 2016).
The #hellomynameis initiative was trialled in 4 inpatient and 4 ambulatory services and consisted of staff introducing themselves, wearing visible name badges, the use of patient centred communication boards and awareness-raising to support behaviour change. Resources were available to support the initiative. Consumer input was sought throughout.
As a result of the initiative, staff identified the quality of care patients received was significantly enhanced (p=0.03). The overall experience of communicating with consumers was enhanced (p=0.05) as was the experience of communicating with other staff (p=0.07).
Patients, their family and carers reported:
- The frequency staff introduced their role and explained the reason for treatment significantly increased (p=0.04 and p=0.01 respectively)
- Their overall experience of communicating with staff was enhanced (p=0.06)
- Consumers consistently reported staff introductions and visible name badges as helpful and enriched the patient experience e.g. builds trust, saves time, helps them relate more easily
- The patient centred communication boards were helpful to improve communication with staff (p=0.001).
The #hellomynameis initiative has promoted simple communication strategies which have been effective in improving communication in the healthcare setting, along with enhancing the patient experience and quality of care. The results support the importance of the role humanity plays in healthcare.
Sarah Bailey is a Psychologist who works in an Allied Health Workforce Development Officer role at Princess Alexandra Hospital. She worked in a clinical role for many years before completing her Masters of Organisational Psychology and moving into the workforce development space. Sarah has been the project lead for the hello my name is initiative for Metro South Health. Making a difference to patients and consumers remain core to her values and the heart of what she does.