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Patient communication more important than ever for St. Luke’s

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 9:28 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - It’s something you can never prepare yourself for. A tragic accident and a trip to the ER.

That’s exactly what happened to Mike Harris, as he and his wife Peggy were preparing for a trip on May 26. He fell 8 feet off a ladder, while he was cleaning his Fifth Wheel RV, landing directly on his heels shattering his calcaneus bones. While he said at the moment he knew his life was turned upside down there was a gimps of hope when he arrived at St. Luke’s Magic Valley.

“Everyone was very caring and they made me feel like I was there number one patient,”said Mike Harris.

Dr. Scott Holliday at St. Luke’s explains they do their best to prepare for these situations.

“Through St. Luke’s we did do, especially the nurses, we did do some training of various kinds, it’s called AIDET,” Holliday said.

The acronym AIDET stands for five communication behaviors: Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation and Thank you.

“We developed AIDET to address what we considered the five fundamentals with any good encounter in healthcare,” said Craig Deao, the managing director for Studer Group. “First all you should be acknowledged, you should get an introduction, share your relevant experience. You should know the duration of what you’re going to go through. You should have an explanation for this. And we should never miss the opportunity to express our gratitude for the opportunity to serve.”

Deao explains that AIDET allows healthcare professionals to communicate with patients and each other in a way that decreases a patients anxiety and improves clinical outcomes. St. Luke’s uses AIDET with all new employees.

“How we approach AIDET is it becomes a part of the framework that’s embedded into the culture of our organization,” said Lisa Desilet, who teaches AIDET during new employee orientation at St. Luke’s Magic Valley. “So St Luke’s takes this idea of being care givers very seriously.”

And Mike can now attest to the culture St. Luke’s has built. And while he has a long road to recovery he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the firefighters, who were first on scene of his accident, to the hospital staff and even those from Interlink Volunteer Caregivers that built his new ramp.

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