Lisa Muc standing in hallway

#IamMGH – Meet Lisa Muc

#IamMGH tells the stories of our people. In celebration of Patient Experience Week (April 25 to 29), meet Lisa Muc, Patient Experience Specialist at Michael Garron Hospital (MGH).

“I started work at MGH in January 2020 as a physiotherapist. While working frontline, I prioritized patient- and family-centred care and valued having those voices in my practice. I realized that I wanted to help amplify patient voices in an administrative role within the organization, so around the time the pandemic hit, I joined the Patient Relations team as a Patient Experience Specialist.

The Patient Relations role has many different aspects.  I am the first point of contact for many visitors, families and community members if they have questions, and have to stay well informed of hospital services and resources. I see this as a small way I can help our clinical teams – by making it so that they don’t have to answer as many questions. Patient Relations is also where families go to provide feedback – both complaints and compliments.  My role is to share this feedback with the relevant teams, and look for patterns that might drive quality improvement initiatives. Having conversations with patients and families is my favourite part of the work and I’m always looking for ways to use their insights to drive service improvements and enhance quality of care for everyone.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been many changes to my role and the work the Patient Experience team does, especially in relation to visitor policies and practices. Our hospital has abided by government policies, public health guidelines and communities of practices which have informed our visitor policies. The hardest part has been when there have been strict visitor restrictions and families could not visit their loved ones who were receiving care at the hospital. Sometimes families were angry with us but we had to do everything we could to make sure patients, staff and visitors were safe. I’m very fortunate that I have an amazing team to rely on, including Laurie Hamilton, Director of Nursing Practice and Education, Patient Experience and Ethics; Sarah Coppinger, Manager of Patient Experience and Relations; and Sarah Bingler, my fellow Patient Experience Specialist. Each one of us recognizes how challenging this work can be and are very supportive of each other.

Patient Experience has collaborated with patients, families, unit leaders and our Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) team to implement alternative strategies to help ensure patients and their loved ones can see each other during the pandemic. One example is the Video Family Visits Program where patients are able to speak to their loved ones virtually using iPads. We are also introducing a Care Partners Program, which formalizes the role of family caregivers as members of the MGH team. Care Partners are provided orientation, such as infection control training, so they can safely visit patients in-person, and stay for longer periods of time than they could as a designated visitor. Our patients have been very grateful for these programs and they would light up when they were able to connect with their caregivers and loved ones.

MGH is my neighbourhood hospital and the centre of healthcare for our community. Because of that, I have wanted to work here for years. I am thankful for how welcoming people are at the hospital and how receptive teams are to new ideas and perspectives. At MGH, we are recognized and celebrated for our differences and there is an undeniable feeling that our leaders, staff and volunteers are always trying to do the best for our community.”

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