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They help and assist patients

17 December 2020

The relocation of St. Erik Eye Hospital has made assisting patients even more important. In the newly built main entrance, we meet St. Erik’s new patient hosts, who can direct patients to the right floor, help out with patient transportation and answer questions.

Tre kvinnor som jobbar i en reception i en sjukhusentré.

Camilla Lundell, Leena Savander and Linnéa Tankred are three of St. Erik’s new patient hosts.

Do we sign in here or at the clinic?

A woman taking her daughter to the paediatric ophthalmology service, waves her appointment card with a quizzical look. Linnéa Tankred, a St. Erik patient host, confirms that they should register their arrival at the clinic and asks the woman whether she knows which floor it is on.

We get many questions like that. Patients enter the new main entrance and feel disoriented. Once they see us, it probably feels comforting to be able to approach someone and ask, says Linnéa Tankred.

St. Erik Eye Hospital’s move to a brand-new building, in another city district, creates challenges, especially for the hospital’s older patients. Previously, Red Cross volunteers had the important role of guiding patients from the main entrance to the right floor of the hospital. However, due to the ongoing pandemic, these volunteers are unable to help out. 

Chantall Ankarklo is the coordinator for St. Erik Eye Hospital’s new patient hosts. Photo: St. Erik Eye Hospital

If more patients find their way and are assisted, the better their overall experience. We’ve decided to staff the main entrance with more than one host at a time to offer the best service to our older patients, who often have poor eyesight, says Chantall Ankarklo.

If a patient needs additional assistance with their appointment, a St. Erik host can accompany them to the clinic and help them to register their arrival. Following the appointment, the host can help to book a mobility service for their journey home.

In general, patients book mobility service journeys themselves, but we don’t yet have a mobility service phone at the entrance. So, sometimes we help patients to book their return journeys, which many find a relief, patient host Leena Savander explains.

During our interview, an aggrevated woman approaches us. She is angry for being asked to show her ID at the pharmacy, and now she wants to let off steam talking to the St. Erik hosts. 

Linnéa Tankred finds helping patients at the main entrance rewarding. Photo: St. Erik Eye Hospital

Naturally, even though most patients and visitors are pleasant, some are stressed and irritated. Those times, it’s nice not being alone. The building owner has a receptionist who sits here too, says Linnéa Tankred.

The building owner, Hemsö, has a receptionist for the tenants, but St. Erik Eye Hospital was of the opinion that St. Erik’s patients need extra assistance, especially following the move to Solna.

St. Erik’s new premises are located on Eugeniavägen, opposite Karolinska University Hospital, and Chantall Ankarklo explains that some patients end up in the wrong building.

In September 2020, St. Erik Eye Hospital moved from Kungsholmen in Stockholm to Eugeniavägen 12 in Solna. Photo: Jens Sølvberg

Some of our patients go to Karolinska University Hospital by mistake, and similarly we have to redirect patients who have appointments at Karolinska. Many delivery services also have trouble finding the right entrance. This is to be expected so soon after our move, and the signs on Eugeniavägen could be improved, says Chantall Ankarklo.

Each week, the patient hosts and coordinator meet to discuss any issues. The hosts also keep statistics on the matters they help out with. In the longer term, Chantall Ankarklo believes that the role will continue to develop.

It’s great to be able to work together with the hosts, they’re so professional and fulfil an important role. And you can tell that they enjoy their work, says Chantall Ankarklo.