This past Sunday, we woke up with Weekend Today to unveil our newly renovated clinic waiting rooms to the country. After months of preparation and careful planning, we finally revealed the changes we hope will improve patients’ experiences as they wait to see their clinician.
This project was called Waiting for Change.
Cancer involves a lot of waiting. Waiting for a diagnosis when symptoms appear, then waiting for your treatment to start. You wait for your treatment to end, to start feeling better, to be told good news or whether or not you’ll have to begin more treatment. You wait for your regular life to begin again, and you wait for hope of a cure.
Having to wait to see a member of your treatment team is unfortunately an inevitable part of the process. We asked our patients and listened intently when they told us the negative toll having to wait before an appointment was taking mentally and emotionally.
That’s where Dr Elizabeth Connolly comes in. Liz has a particular interest in patient experience so she applied for, and won, the inaugural 2019 Chris O’Brien Lifehouse innovation prize, allowing her to dedicate up to 20 hours of work time a week on a project. Philanthropy also played an integral role, with incredible donations from Dry July and the Miss Australia Chinese Pageant 2019.
Dr Connolly led a dedicated, diverse team of our staff, volunteers and members of the Board and Partnership Advisory Council who all shared the same desire: to improve patients’ waiting experiences.
The result is a refurbished waiting area that seeks to improve communication with patients to decrease anxiety before an appointment and provide them with comfortable, practical spaces where they can do work or relax with their loved ones. Device charging stations, boards with updated waiting times and calming decorative plants, fresh fruit, coffee, books and activity stations are spread out between the four clinics. All these changes – big and small – will ideally provide freedom to grab a coffee, pop to the bathroom, do some work and ease your nerves before an appointment.
We encourage all patients to go and visit the waiting rooms on Level 2 and provide feedback, and you can watch the entire Weekend Today segment below: