The simple act of introducing yourself is the inspiration behind the ‘Hello my name is’ campaign, launched by Southern DHB in an effort to better connect with patients.
The ‘Hello my name is’ campaign was initiated by a UK geriatrician, Kate Granger, who sadly passed away from terminal cancer in August 2016. When she was a patient she realised staff often didn’t introduce themselves – a missing communication step she felt had a major impact. Subsequently, she launched a social media campaign which gained international momentum and the initiative has since been implemented in over 100 hospitals in the UK and internationally.
Kate posted her feelings about this on her website: “Introductions are about making a human connection between one human being who is suffering and vulnerable, and another human being who wishes to help. They begin therapeutic relationships and can instantly build trust in difficult circumstances.”
To carry on Kate’s legacy and improve interaction with patients, Southern DHB Registered Medical Officer Jenny Dodds launched the campaign throughout the Southern district.
“The campaign has been a true inspiration,” says Jenny, who, with a team of colleagues, set out across the district and filmed around 300 staff and patients introducing themselves. “It’s been a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all walks of life, and access the human side of what can be very clinical settings. By promoting this campaign throughout Southern DHB, I hope we’ve gained enough momentum to have a long-lasting impact.”
This impact, intended to improve patient experience and build trust, has been received positively by Dunedin Hospital patient Andrea Brown:
“I’ve been coming into hospital off and on since April this year and the doctors always come up and say who they are. Somehow it breaks down a barrier, which I think is comforting for the patient. Even the consultants are very open about who they are and I think it’s made me more relaxed and I’m probably more open with them as a result.”