“Being in This Position Truly Gives Purpose and Meaning to My Life.”

logo-healthHere is an email describing the amazing patient experience delivered by Katie Bueter, a Patient Concierge at a hospital in Colorado.  Rest assured, she was recognized by the hospital for Advancing the Patient Experience®!

Last Friday, I had a humbling experience helping a discharged patient.  Visibly distraught, the patient told me was being discharged to his car, as he was homeless and had nowhere to go.  I discovered that the hospital, despite their best efforts, was unable to secure a bed for him at any of the local homeless shelters for the night.  I immediately began an online search for homeless shelters and began calling.  This proved a difficult task, as most shelters are almost always full and when they’re not, they’re filled primarily by women, children and families.

Eventually, I got a hold of someone at the Denver Rescue Mission. I explained I was an employee at the hospital and that I had a patient who desperately could use a bed that night. After pulling a few strings, Denver Rescue Mission was able to secure a bed for the patient; all the patient needed to do was present his discharge paper work to check-in. After securing him a bed, I printed off numerous resources for the patient, including directions and information on Coalition for the Homeless. I helped him plan the time and place he needed to meet the case managers at the coalition. While helping the patient, I had come to find out he had just moved to this area and while in the hospital, he had to give his dog to the Denver Humane Shelter as he was unable to care for him. As an animal lover myself, I was touched by the patient’s story. His dog was his family and the longer the dog stayed at the humane shelter, the less likely the patient would get him back. I printed off more resources for the patient (low-income housing that is pet friendly) and gave him directions to the humane shelter from the mission so he could at least go work out a plan with them until he could get back on his feet.  

Once I had found him as many resources as I could, I ordered his cab and sent him on his way to his parked vehicle down the street. I had printed him directions from the location of his parked vehicle to the mission, so once he had reached his car he would be able to get to the shelter. It took me around three hours to find a bed and all the available resources for this kind patient and I was more than happy to do it. The patient was overwhelmed with gratitude, and I must admit I was especially taken by his story and his adamancy to get help, even when it had seemed like there were no options left. Helping patients like this, the ones who truly and desperately need your help, reminded me of why I love being a patient concierge. Being in this position truly gives purpose and meaning to my life.

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