Building relationships that touch the heart

What is it about the Southwest Healthcare System that makes someone feel a personal connection? We find out.

Did you know?

Southwest Healthcare System is comprised of the Rancho Springs and Inland Valley campuses. Acquired in the early 1990s, Inland Valley Medical Center has earned significant honors and recognitions throughout the years. Rancho Springs, a small hospital in a growing community, broke ground in late 2003 and has since gone through a major development project to expand its services and departments.

The Southwest Healthcare System in California prides itself on the extra level of attention staff give to patients and their families. Southwest believes in the importance of being attentive to the feelings of the patients they serve and in providing quality clinical care. To see how this dedication plays out, all you need to do is talk to the staff at Southwest Healthcare System.

Christy Howe from the maternity unit at the Rancho Springs campus will tell you that establishing a personal connection with those she helps is key to doing her job. “Building relationships that touch the heart means communicating and engaging with each other on a deeper level,” she says.

I’m treating them with their best interest at heart—just if I would my own mother or my father or my grandparents.

Melanie Riser, RN

For Rich Luper in plant operations, the opportunity for personal connection is made up in little moments throughout his day. “One of the things I do when we are walking in the hospital is to make sure that I greet everyone,” he says. “I see so many people who are thinking other things. Just a smile or a greeting helps, and you just see somebody light up for a second.”

Patients at Southwest Healthcare System rely on staff expertise. And though they may not say it outright, in addition to being professional, they also need the staff to act like a family member would. Heather Adams, a registered nurse (RN) and assistant chief nursing officer, tries to bring that humanity to everything she does. “I really focus on a lot of laughter and a lot of listening because I believe that caring and bringing that forward helps them (the patients) to bring it forward,” she says.

Pharmacy Manager Todd Reames would agree. “To me, it means to make myself available to those around me. To listen, intently and really look for an opportunity on how I can positively have an impact on that person at that moment,” he says.

How do some Southwest staff personalize the experience for patients? Though it may sound obvious, Melanie Riser actually makes it personal. “I want our patients to feel that I’m treating them with their best interests at heart–just if I would my own mother or my father or my grandparents,” she says.

The staff, driven by this belief, come together to create a professional and caring Southwest experience. It's an attitude and culture that RN and Performance Improvement Manager Nikole Devries can vouch for. “I know, numerous times when I’ve gotten to go home and really reflect on my day. And there has been a number of people I’ve been able to think back how they really went above and beyond for me,” she says.