This woman was not the only patient who we saw suddenly open up about their relationship. So, we contacted Waypoint and ended up making some permanent policy changes at the clinic. From here on out, only the patient will be allowed to go back to the exam room for the initial intake. Then, he or she can request a support person be brought back if they would like.
The exception to this would be for interpreters. During the initial intake the nurses can ask about patient’s safety. If a patient’s support person would try to pressure you to bring him or her back immediately, please let a staff nurse or myself know. We have put the policy on a slide scrolling in the lobby so that we can better enforce it without people feeling singled out.
Secondly, there are room flags outside each exam room. There are now flags for nurse, provider, diabetic education, patient advocate and prayer support. The bottom red flag is blank.
There is a sign in the clinic bathroom with the following: If you are not feeling safe in your relationship, please know that:
-We believe you and will listen to you without judgement.
We understand that abuse is more than just physical marks on the body.
-We will let you take the lead in letting us know how we can best help you.
-We will NOT tell your abuser anything you share with us.
If you want to speak with someone about your relationship, please PULL OUT THE RED DOOR MARKER, and our staff will know that you would like to have a discussion. We understand that it takes incredible courage to tell someone about safety issues in a relationship.
We hope that having these new procedures in place will help put patients at more ease to open up. Thank you for treating our patients with compassion and dignity. Sometimes they face so much more than we realize when they leave our clinic.