What Matters to You?

MHVC and its partners have embraced the new initiative, "What Matters to You?" (WMTY) and made it their own.

In May 2017, MHVC announced its “What Matters to You” (WMTY) campaign (article here), which was launched on international “What Matters to You Day” (June 6th)  with a webinar and subsequent events around the region. “Because the message is so simple and compelling, it is resonating with our partners, patients, and just about everyone else,” according to Dr. Damara Gutnick, MHVC Medical Director.

“There has been positive feedback about the work, which has been seamlessly integrated into almost all of our outreach and trainings,” she continued. MHVC has disseminated information about WMTY widely, including its recent Behavioral Health Learning Collaborative, ED Care Triage training, sessions with medical schools, and the Blueprint for Health Equity forum.

View the popular video on empathy from the Cleveland Clinic, here.

A “Reel” How-To: MHVC Video on Implementing WMTY

Stories from clinicians, organizations, and patients

If you think the “What Matters to You” (WMTY) campaign is a great idea but you don’t know how it will fit into your organization or how to start, this new video from MHVC can help. Our partners -- and their patients and clients -- talk about how they have integrated WMTY into every interaction, the impact it has had on the people that they care for, and how it has helped clinicians and staff  find “Joy in Work.”

Kathy Pandekakes, Chief Operating Officer of Human Development Services of Westchester (HDSW), shares how HDSW has integrated WMTY into everyday processes and staff meetings, as well as with clients in its popular Living Room, a day respite center, and Club House programs. One client relates how staff always asks what matters to her when she comes in that day, and asks what she wants to work on. She says that support has helped her stay out of an inpatient psychiatric hospital.

As summarized by Dr. Damara Gutnick, MHVC Medical Director, “When you ask what’s the matter, a person will talk about a chief complaint, such as my chest hurts. But if you ask ‘What Matters to You’ you’ll uncover the social determinants of health and other priorities the patient is dealing with at that moment.” She continued, “The key to patient engagement is to not only ask what matters, but to attentively listen to what the person says, and collaboratively design care plans that address what is most important to the patient.”

At Cornerstone Family Healthcare, Dr. Avi Silber, Chief Medical Officer, says that WMTY “reminds us what’s important.” Clinicians and staff do what they do to help people, interact, and communicate. He was impressed with what WMTY did for patient management, but it also reminds people of “why they went into this profession in the first place. It helps my communication with patients and has brought a lot of joy back into my work.”

Joann Valentin-Alvarez, a care manager at Cornerstone, gave an example of a patient who had transportation issues because she depended on her son. By asking what really matters, it became clear “that the issue is not really transportation, it’s the relationship with her son. We worked on that and it cut our time in half, her needs were met.”

Kareem Hill, RN, a nurse at Wakefield Hospital, shared the idea of WMTY with other nurses. They were skeptical until she asked the question of a particularly challenging patient and got results. The patient concluded by saying, “Thank you for listening to me. I have been asking and not everyone listens.”

Gutnick said the next step is to convene partners to think about common metrics that can be applied across the network to measure “joy in work” and the results of the WMTY campaign. “We can measure the impact of keeping patients out of the hospital by paying attention to the social determinants of health that are so important to our patients and these interventions can save money,” she concluded.

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How to Make WMTY Your Own: Partner Stories

MHVC partners have told us they want to hear about how others are implementing “What Matters to You?” (WMTY). We want to highlight stories and share tools and resources in our newsletters and on our website, so contact us with your stories.

Cabrini embraces WMTY “culture shift”

When Lorraine Horgan showed the WMTY video to Cabrini’s management at their annual strategic retreat on October 3, 2017, she was amazed at the enthusiastic response. “WMTY is really bringing patient-centered care to the next level. Everyone grasped the concept and looked forward to implementing it,” she said.

The impact was immediate and Horgan started making WMTY charts the next day. WMTY is discussed at monthly management meetings, where staff give examples of how it has made a difference. “The department heads presented WMTY to their staff, so now everyone at Cabrini knows about it,” Horgan said.

Located in Dobbs Ferry, NY, Cabrini of Westchester is a geriatric care campus providing a continuum of care to elders and those with disabilities, so there are short-term patients and long-term residents. Of its 304 beds, all 45 short-term rehabilitation patients are offered the option to have WMTY charts in their rooms, and now requests are rapidly growing from the long-term residents. “We use the chart with circles that is in Dr. Gutnick’s keynote video and it caused a ripple effect” said Horgan. “Some of the the long-term residents wanted it also to make their interactions with staff and others more personalized and meaningful.”

At the care-plan meeting with the family, Cabrini staff gives the patient or resident the option to participate in the WMTY initiative and fill out the chart, or not. If they wish to participate, the chart is put on the bulletin board in their room. “Staff love going into the room and learning something about the patient,” said Horgan. “They are able to ask about a pet, a child, or a sports team and get to know the patient better.”

Patient John Murphy proudly holds his WMTY chart alongside Imee Garcia, PT (left) and Cheryl Cohen, OT (right), his therapists who worked hard to help him reach his goals.

News about the initiative has even reached Cabrini’s Board of Trustees. Horgan showed the video at the December Board meeting and gave an update on results. The Board was excited to see how deeply WMTY has penetrated in the Cabrini staff and feels it is a great complement to the person-centered care that is an integral part of Cabrini’s culture.

WMTY: “Attending my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah.”

After a hip fracture, the patient was anxious to complete short-term rehabilitation in enough time to be ambulatory and dancing at his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah. Staff used this goal to motivate him, resulting in the optimization of his therapy and quality outcomes. The patient was discharged in time for his daughter’s Bat Mitzvah, and healthy enough to celebrate with a dance.

WMTY: “Me being home in the evenings.”

WMTY is for staff as well as for patients. When possible, adjusting work schedules allows for work-life balance and well-rested, healthy, and happy employees. “That is also part of WMTY,” said Horgan.

WMTY: “Getting home to pay my bills.”

Staff was concerned that a short-term rehab patient was too anxious to stay the course of her treatment and wanted to go home. When asked WMTY, she said wanted to get home to pay her bills. Once staff learned this, they arranged for a day-pass and transportation to and from home. The patient was then calm and willing to participate in her therapy. If not for WMTY, she would have left against medical advice and would have resulted in a rehospitalization.


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