Active patientship at the GPTC
25 May 2019
December 2018 saw the half-year anniversary of the UMCG Proton Therapy Center. A perfect moment to ask our patients about how they experienced our medical care. What went well, and what could perhaps be improved? Active patientship helps us to improve our care even further.
We asked two independent moderators to have a discussion with a group of nine of our patients, varying in age, sex and treatment indication. All patients received proton therapy treatment between February and September 2018. More than forty employees from our department and other involved UMCG departments attended the discussion as an audience.
The patients unanimously praised the attention and commitment displayed by our staff and they describe the atmosphere at our department to be very positive. They appreciate the many instances of personal contact, where we show a real interest in their personal circumstances. “When you enter the proton therapy center, the first thing you see is a friendly smile. That’s a very good start. Then you arrive upstairs and it starts. Everyone is just so amazingly friendly. While they accompany you to the treatment room, they make conversation.”
For all patients, the proton therapy treatment itself is a very impressive experience. Despite being well informed before entering the treatment room, it still is a somewhat estranging and kind of ‘threatening’ experience. Some of this is caused by the loud noises heard during actual treatment.
The patients are content with the information provided and with the conversations they have with their treating physician and the people from Patient Service. Our staff are friendly and don’t rush through any conversation. The parking spaces right next to the proton therapy center are much appreciated, as is the building’s furnishing.
There is room for a few improvements, however. The patients prefer for the bathrobe to only be removed at the treatment couch. They also suggest a change in the contents of the vending machine in the waiting room, such that it can also serve patients who have difficulty chewing or swallowing. Furthermore, a small outside bench would allow patients to wait for their taxi outside the building. We are happy to take these concerns to heart and to thereby improve our patient care.
Benches placed at the patients' request