When dignity is at the center of healthcare services, patients receive timely and repeated education and attention. As we advance, it’s important to point out that personal care is not an add on service. It’s the welcome mat to patient safety and comfort. If dignity is not at the center of healthcare, patients are less likely to complete their plan of care and it may take weeks or even years before the patient pursues care again. Receiving services is already expensive in time, money, energy. Patients do not want to repeat themselves, they expect us to remember them, share the facts, call them by name, present options, encourage them.

The irony is that Americans are thought to be the most personal and attentive culture. Or, we were.

Regardless, we can be the most professional, innovative, accurate and personal culture! As technology does more for us, we can do more for each other. One argument is that we have the time now that we are saving time on the mindless, spirit-less things computers do for us.

Dignity is fundamental to the well-being of every individual in all societies. It is a basic human right for all, and healthcare organizations are in a unique position to pay special attention the universal need. A tire salesman or post office person can only transfer so much education and attention, can only contribute so much to human dignity. All the more reason why a patient deserves this intricate support across healthcare needs.

Life is precious and disorder, age, gender, creed, or anything else cannot subtract from human dignity. Unless we allow it. In its simplest form, maintaining patient dignity boils down to treating individuals the way you would like to be treated. People desire choices and choice is what they shall have in the United States. When patients are treated with respect, it creates a greater sense of trust and well-being. When this does not occur, the patient may or may not choose to trust someone else. At D’Amore Healthcare, we see patients make this brave decision – to try again. After so many frustrated attempts at personal care in their psychiatric or addiction needs, they arrive tired and skeptical. Who can blame them? Our attention to detail must be precise and integrated from ground zero. And what an honor to be tested, then trusted. And in perhaps the most intimate space in healthcare, mental health care. Human dignity is easily missed in a society when life is no longer precious. But, life is precious! As precious as we determine to value it and uphold it. The bar raises, when we raise the bar.

A few ideas:

Determine the type of provider you need. For example, a psychiatrist is a physician — doctor of medicine (M.D.) or doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) — who specializes in mental health. A psychiatrist can: Diagnose and treat mental health disorders.

Do you need 24 hours of care per day? Subacute support to get you independent again soon, after the conditions are stabilized. At D’Amore Healthcare, we employ a psychiatrist (M.D.) and a Physician’s Assistant, PA-C to prioritize psychiatric and medical needs based on the patient’s strengths, needs, abilities, preferences and goals. Our Medical & Clinical Team organize at least 3 treatment plans to meet the patients needs in a 30-45 day time period.

Are you unsure what you need? Talk to a clinician who treats you with kindness, who performs services based on the imperatives of education and attention. Notice how you feel when you are around the Team that wants to support you. Let them earn your trust through education and attention.

At D’Amore Healthcare, we call timely and repeated education and attention “gracious redundancy.” Everyone needs gracious redundancy, regardless of the diagnoses that brought them here. Perhaps gracious redundancy is even more important when mental health needs ask The World Health Organization states, “There is no health without mental health.” The relationship between mental and physical health are especially evident in chronic conditions. Poor mental health is a risk factor for chronic physical conditions. So, please do not forfeit education and personal service. Your needs, time … your dignity, too valuable. The beautiful thing about the pain and discomfort is the potential for us to blossom from all the feedback they push to the surface. The worst of life can bring out the best in us. But, that is not something we do alone.