Let us be told the truth

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 Let us be told the truth

“Let us be told the truth, even if it is difficult, but leave us room for hope”: the voices of children undergoing treatment at the Schneider Medical Center were heard at the first pediatric consultation of its kind

In recent years, the trend of public participation has become widespread throughout the world in both the public and private sectors. In many medical organizations and hospitals around the world, patients and their families have been involved in organizational decisions and workflows for several years, because. there is an understanding that patient participation improves the quality and safety of medical care and satisfaction with it.

One of the world's accepted ways to involve patients in the decision-making process is to create a patient council, which becomes an advisory body of the hospital. The Council meets to discuss how to improve work processes and share the experience of patients and caregivers, and to develop solutions and services.

Children's Medical Center "Schneider" from the Clalit group — The first hospital in Israel to join this trend hosted the first pediatric and adolescent patient consultation, which marked the beginning of a series of planned meetings. Six boys, girls and teenagers from a wide range of backgrounds being treated at the Schneider Hospital in various departments and clinics, took part in an exciting and unique meeting. Thus, the Schneider Hospital joins the trend of the world's leading children's hospitals that allow children's voices to sound without the mediation of parents.

At the children's council, which was held in the presence of the head of the children's medical center "Schneider" Dr. Efrat Baron Harlev, Efrat Milner, Head of Patient Services, Efrat Harel, Head of Social Services, Maskhit Gilan Shohat, Head of the Hospital's Education Center, and other staff were present. The youth discussed various issues related to their experience of treatment and stay in the hospital, such as: communication with doctors and medical staff and caregivers and conditions of hospitalization. The children discussed with the participants of the council how to make the stay of children and adolescents of different ages in the hospital more enjoyable, and the need for contact with other children with similar diseases.

One of the important issues raised by the children is the attitude of the medical staff towards them and how they are informed about their illness: “It is important that they treat us like adults, and not just talk to their parents, so that they tell us to us the truth. Let it be difficult, but encouraging. So that they leave us a place of hope,” the children say. Another issue they raised — disclosing information about the disease to the immediate community and school, and the need for the hospital to be their partner in thinking about how best to tell others about the disease. The children were also asked to think about how to make this period easier for parents, take care of their comfort and well-being while they are with their children in the hospital. In addition, the children expressed their wish that the medical staff conduct seminars for them on issues related to their health condition, such as taking medication, thereby giving them a sense of responsibility, control, empowerment.

Dr. Efrat Baron Harlev, Head of the Schneider Children's Medical Center, congratulated the children: Schneider Hospital, as the only and unique children's hospital, considers its credo to be the concept of placing children and their world at the center of the therapeutic process, and therefore it is natural to listen to children and learn from them, as well as to explain to children how things are going and to share information in processes whose ultimate goal is to give them everything that is possible and even more. This is what our hospital is all about.”

Efrat Milner, Head of Patient Services: “The aim of the council was to enable the children, as patient representatives, to have an open dialogue with the hospital management. This is a unique process for patients to participate in important debates, designed to listen to the voices of children and adolescents, with their unique wisdom and their special vision as patients. This shows us, as management, the real needs of our special patients – children and youth.

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