More than Medicine, It’s about Patient Experience

Jan 7, 2019

Understanding patients and connecting with their needs

When an emergency occurs, stress levels are heightened and so many thoughts are racing through your head; Where do I go? Am I going to be okay?  What tests or procedures are they going to need to do? 

At Valley Baptist Health System we understand coming to a hospital is a stressful time for our patients and their families and we are committed to providing a visit that is more than just giving medicine, but about connecting with our patients, their families and addressing each need.

“From the time our patients come through our emergency room, it’s important to address their concerns based on their needs and to reduce anxiety levels,” said Dr. Douglas Miesen, MD, Emergency Department Medical Director for Valley Baptist Medical Center-Harlingen.  “Creating a positive patient experience has a lot to do with our patient’s recovery.  We are committed to connecting with each patient to understand their unique situation.“

Valley Baptist-Harlingen unveiled its Pediatric Emergency Department in late 2017 to care and treat the pediatric population in a way that makes the hospital environment a less scary place for kids to come.  Pediatric-trained nurses and specialists are available 24/7 to care and treat our littlest patients in a comfortable setting.

“Each patient population has different healthcare needs unique to that age group.  We know for children, they can become very stressed with needle injections,” said Miesen.  “We now offer Lidocaine jelly to wounds upon arrival to allow the wound to be numb when the doctor arrives to begin sewing the wound without the standard painful injection.”

In Spring of 2018, Valley Baptist-Brownsville opened its Geriatric Emergency Department (GED), entirely dedicated to caring for older adults.  The GED offers a boutique feel and designed to meet the mobility challenges of an older patient, as well as providing staff that is trained to assess, triage and treat this population.

“Our goal is to make it a less uncomfortable time for our patients and find ways to make it as painless as possible,” said Miesen.  “We have now also introduced intranasal medication, which allows us to painlessly deliver medications to control pain and give sedatives.”

Valley Baptist-Harlingen, a Level II Trauma facility, offers the highest level of trauma care in the Rio Grande Valley and dedicated to providing optimal care for injured patients.

“It’s all about small things we can do to reduce pain and make our patients feel more comfortable,” said Miesen.  “No one plans or wants to make a trip to the hospital or emergency room, but if the situation arises we’re here to care for our patients and make it a positive experience for them.”

Valley Baptist Health System recently expanded emergency services with two free-standing emergency centers in Harlingen and Brownsville.  Both centers provide additional access points for 24-hour emergency care, offering residents emergent care close to home. 

Reduce your wait in the hospital by checking in at home. If you have a non-life-threatening emergency, you can skip the waiting room by scheduling your visit online at:

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