St. Rose keeps patients excited and positive by encouraging and celebrating small triumphs and changes in behavior.
Making any big lifestyle change is a challenge. This is just as true for us as it is for our patients. We were asking our patients to change their diets and habits, and we were also changing how we worked at the hospital. With many of our patients, they would make small changes, but no one would be there to notice it. And, since the health benefits aren’t immediate, it was hard for them to stay motivated to keep changing. We needed a way to keep our patients and ourselves motivated through the process of change.
St. Rose is a non-profit hospital in Hayward, CA. It has 217 beds and serves a diverse, low-income population including Spanish, Hindi, and Tagalog speakers. Their transitions program began in 2012 and is influenced by Project RED.
What We Tried
We found that when we were starting the program, we needed to celebrate small successes within our team to keep our spirits up. Every time we successfully connected with a patient or they went to their follow up appointment, we would celebrate. It’s important to recognize that we made progress.
We do the same thing with our patients now. We praise all accomplishments, no matter how small. It lets our patients know that someone cares about them and their achievements. We gave them simple steps to take and then congratulated them if they took them. For example, we’d suggest taking salt out of one meal and, if they were able to make eggs the next morning without salt, we would praise them for taking a step toward better health.
Our patients feel that they have the power to make a change. They’re proud that someone notices their efforts and are encouraged to keep doing more. It helps patients when they see that others care and are invested, and they are not just making these changes for themselves.
Simple phrases such as “you’re doing a great job” and “you can do this” can make a big difference in patients’ confidence. Try to add phrases like these in your conversations.