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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Making Time to Really Listen to Your Patients

This Harvard Business Review article addresses the importance of incorporating WMTY into healthcare so healthcare professionals can be more efficient and effective in their work. Read the article here.

WMTY Around the World: Scotland

WMTY has been implemented across the world by various types of healthcare provider organizations. This is an example of implementation in an inpatient hospice setting in Scotland: Fiona Irvine, Ayrshire Hospice

Medicaid Director Announces Focus on Kids and Empathy

"First 1000 Days on Medicaid" initiative is aligned with WMTY

MHVC's WMTY campaign captures empathy, which aligns with the announcement from NYS Medicaid Director, Jason Helgerson, about the collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics around early childhood development. For more information on the First 1000 Days on Medicaid initiative, please visit: https://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/medicaid/redesign/first_1000.htm.

-- Dr.Damara Gutnick, MHVC Medical Director

Stories from the field that bring the message home

If you have examples of how asking “What Matters to You” has made a difference in a patient’s life or your practice, let us know at montefiorehvc@montefiore.org.

Nursing Student Asks a Difficult Patient, "WMTY?"

"No one thought to ask what it was that was bothering her"

A difficult patient, an unexpected hospital stay: By asking WMTY, this nursing student discovered that the patient was worried about her dog at home alone.


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