Caregivers serve many roles, and one is to deliver things that patients want or need or gifts from others. Like other hospitals, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX is limiting onsite visitors to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This change made it complicated for caregivers to deliver simple comforts or gifts to their patients. Nutrition Services saw this need and knew they had to do something that would improve the patient and the caregiver experience.
Nikki Green, Food Services Supervisor, and her team established a delivery station where caregivers can drop off items for inpatients any time between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. In addition to flowers and food, the group has delivered toiletries, cell phones, laptops, and more. Their effort also sends a message to the patient that their loved ones are thinking of them. The group has made more than 600 deliveries since they started on March 28. Nikki says her team wanted to support patients and their families.
“It’s been an honor to support the family members by delivering messages between them,” says Sandra Condet-Hill, a food service supervisor. “It’s been a privilege to give extra support to our patients and their caregivers.”
This delivery service focuses on creating connections. The deliveries have helped patients during these stressful times. For example, the team delivered a cell phone to a patient so she could FaceTime with her mom during her hospital stay, and she was so happy.
Keeping the patients connected to their family and friends is an important part of the patient experience. The Nutrition Services team ensures patients and caregivers can stay in touch with each other through “From Family and Friends Delivery Service.”