Gundersen Boscobel Area Hospital and Clinics implemented a sensory-friendly initiative in 2020. With the help of partner organizations, this work has expanded to include all facets of care. The impact on patients (and families) is great.
Working with Aiming for Acceptance (A4A) and UW-Madison Hospital’s Waisman Center, Gundersen Boscobel completed an organizational assessment to identify ways to provide optimal care for patients with various sensory processing needs. Project collaborators then developed guidelines and adaptations supporting a more sensory-friendly environment. Modifications were made and a menu/toolboxes with sensory aids were developed.
According to the Waisman Center, Gundersen Boscobel's program is the first of its kind. Gundersen Boscobel has a newfound perspective, discovered gaps between urban/rural health care and staff knowledge of the care environment, and made modifications to better support patients with ASD, mental health needs and developmental delays.
Gundersen Boscobel's dedicated team is excited to be one of the first critical access hospitals in Wisconsin to accept this challenge. By offering something as simple as a squishy ball or fidget spinner, an oral stimulator, earmuffs or even sunglasses, they're thinking outside the traditional health care box.
Gundersen Boscobel knows their care environment and the way our team interacts, assesses and treats patients with sensory needs is not "one size fits all." While standard clinical practices and protocols remain, staff are now equipped with new knowledge and tools to help reduce the level of patient anxiety, unrest or over-stimulation. The result is optimal care delivery: working to make the health care environment and treatment as tolerable as possible.