Creative Coloring Book Prepares Pediatric Patients for Surgery Experience

Quality healthcare pertains to more than just physical treatment; it also involves emotional and psychological care. Because pediatric patients in particular may feel stress and fear before undergoing surgery or any medical procedure, finding ways to assuage these patient’s fears is an important component of quality care. Centerpoint Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) in Independence, Missouri offers a free coloring book that shows their pediatric patients, through pictures and simple text, what to expect on their day of surgery. The coloring book has been a huge success in relieving patient anxiety and increasing patient satisfaction.

Sabrina Platt, Division Quality Risk Manager (DQRM) for the MidAmerica Division, developed the coloring book while working as a risk manager at Centerpoint ASC in 2012. Platt says, “The book was designed to inform pediatric patients and their parents/guardians of the surgery experience. It covers the entire process from admission to discharge, and encourages self-care after discharge through an interactive activity page at the end.”

One of the primary goals for using the coloring book is to improve clinical outcomes of pediatric patients and reduce the number of indirect Emergency Room visits by concerned parents. “To our pleasant surprise,” Platt adds, “it also ended up improving service at the ASC. Satisfaction is increased when parents and guardians have tools to prepare their children for an experience that can as sometimes be frightening.”

After receiving patient satisfaction comments, staffers at Centerpoint posted the coloring book on its website. Platt says that she has received only positive feedback on the book.

Although originally designed for Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) patients, the coloring book has since been adapted and made more general, to provide benefits to all pediatric surgical patients. Last year, the coloring book was nominated for the HCA Innovators Award in the Quality/Patient Safety category. This company-wide employee recognition program was designed to recognize non-management individuals whose innovative ideas to improve patient quality, service, or the efficiency of our operations, have been put into action and proven effective.