Mayo Clinic's new social media campaign highlights the patient experience in patients' own voices

Mayo Clinic has launched a new social media campaign that revolves around patient experience—both positive and negative—featuring articles written by patients and their caregivers. 

Experts by Experience, which is a partnership between the health system and healthcare social network Inspire, will include posts from patients and caregivers from across the globe, according to Mayo Clinic.  

The system says the campaign has three goals: 

  1. Educate providers using first-hand stories of patients' experiences
  2. Offer a look into a "day in the life" for patients or caregivers dealing with certain conditions
  3. Provide opportunities for quality improvement

"Sharing stories has valuable health benefits for readers or listeners and narrators alike," the health system said in the announcement.

"Be it through their own experiences or those of loved ones, patients and caregivers are in a unique position—by sharing their stories they are able to create a comprehensive narrative out of often chaotic journeys." 

RELATED: Dignity Health aims to improve patient experience throughout care 'journey' 

The series' first post, for example, describes a negative and a positive experience with emergency care.

Renata K. Louwers is a patient advocate and writer whose husband was being treated for bladder cancer. During one ER visit, her husband was left on a stretcher in a hallway as there were no available beds, according to the post. Louwers wrote that she was exhausted and no one offered her a chair or a place to sit. Worse, she was scolded by the hospital staff when she sat down against the wall. 

On another visit, Louwers said she arrived late at night with her husband and a nurse quickly recognized how tired she was. He offered her a pillow and a spot to sleep, saying he would wake her when the doctor needed to speak with her. 

"I understand that in an emergency room the top priority is to handle emergencies, not to comfort caregivers. But it takes discreet actions like kindness, helpfulness, empathy—things within the control of every person—to scale up the humanity of care," Louwers writes in the post.

"And scaling up, even slightly, can have a big positive impact on caregivers."