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 The Story Of First Touch

Lolma Olson is founder of Sage Consulting and creator of First Touch: Building Connections, a program aimed at assisting organizations in building cultures of service, safety, and healing; facilitating strategic planning and goal-setting; developing leaders; building effective teams; and influencing the transition process from conception to implementation.

According to the organization’s website (www.First-Touch.org), First Touch is “the initial, nonclinical, personal contact with patients and their families, which begins with ‘Hello’ and concludes with ‘Goodbye.’”
The goal of the program is to establish and sustain trusting relationships and rapport with patients and their families, much like a bonding experience through “a time of presence,” which helps patients realize that the caregivers are there for them.

Through staff training and the use of scripts, First Touch helps patients realize that a facility’s caregivers are “committed to their welfare, are seeing and recognizing patients as ‘human beings’ first rather than room numbers or diagnoses.”

According to the website, the goal is to reduce patients’ anxieties and fears by creating a safe place for them. “This safe haven begins when we offer a positive, healing environment.
“We believe we need to start First Touch by being ‘the best of who we are’ and connecting with ‘the best of the people we serve.’”

Today, First Touch is described as “a structured implementation and sustainability system that enhances the personal connection patients, their families, and health plan members experience in the health care setting before health care team members start task-oriented activities.”

First Touch is also customized for all staff roles, for every member of the health care team in all health care settings.
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