Williana Doctrine, the latest patient advocate at Gov. Juan F. Luis Hospital, came on board in August with the desire to help her community in health care. Her goal is to help make a stay at the hospital the best it can be for patients.
“ I want to hear the patients’ comments, concerns and compliments, to be able to help make their stay here a positive experience,” Doctrine says. “Granted we are the only hospital here, but we want to be a hospital of choice and a beacon of light.”
The advocate acts on the patient’s behalf within the hospital structure and aids patients with the support, information and skills necessary to act on their own behalf whenever possible. The advocate works under the Legal and Risk Management department, working closely with the hospital administration and attorney Royette Russell.
Doctrine tries to meet every patient as soon as they are admitted. Sometimes it is an emergency fast track and she doesn’t see them then, but does meet them as soon as possible. She says it is all about customer service.
She gives each patient a new-patient information packet, containing information on advance directives and living wills. It tells how to file a grievance and it gives the rights of Medicare patients. There are four pages of patient rights and responsibilities and a complaint form.
Dotrine says the emergency room is the first line of defense. People may have had an experience that has shaped their perception of the ER. She added it is second nature for staff to treat every patient with dignity and respect.
She says you can’t predict what will happen at any given time, so there may be times when the wait in the ER is longer than expected. She says the emergency room is often busy being used by people who don’t have a primary care physician.
She tells patients to speak up and tell their nurses and doctors what they want. She added the nurses know what people need in health care but nurses don’t always know what people want.
She helps people navigate the health care system, helps with paper work and assists people with referrals to other agencies.
As this reporter walked with Doctrine to her office, we saw a woman who appeared to be crying and Doctrine asked if she was OK. She says it is in her nature and her Army training to help people.
“I guess that’s just me,” Doctrine says.
She says there are days when she gets so busy she would like to clone herself, but she doesn’t have a problem with being busy because she loves the work.
Doctrine says with a big friendly smile she loves people and loves helping them. She says at the end of the day God is in control and she wants God to be pleased with her.
“The bottom line is I want to help make a difference,” she said. "I want to see the hospital succeed and be a beacon of light”