Subscribe to our e-newsletter, Nursing Notes

< Back to Nursing Notes Feature Focus

Helping Improve the Patient Experience

December 2012

Recovering from surgery can be a physically and emotionally demanding experience for a patient, however nurses can play an important role in ensuring patients are adequately equipped for surgery and have an overall positive experience.

In 2011, Dr. Elizabeth Chabner Thompson founded the company BFFL (Best Friends for Life) to help improve patients’ post-op experience and prepare them for the post-op recovery process. After her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. Thompson underwent prophylactic mastectomies to help minimize her personal risk of breast cancer. Her experience in recovering from this surgery was what led her to begin working in the reconstructive surgery practice and inspired her to start the BFFL Co.

One signature product that BFFL offers is the BFFLBag®, a nylon duffle bag filled with essential items a patient might need in the hospital and during home recovery, including toiletries, earplugs, skid-resistant socks, pen and paper, a water bottle and products for skin care.

“The BFFL bag was created to help caregivers improve the patient experience by simply handing them one tool that packages everything needed for recovery,” said Dr. Thompson. “Patients need to feel that from the moment they walk into the hospital to the day they go home that they have some ability to take care of themselves and to retain dignity while they recover – BFFL bags help provide that reassurance and comfort to the patient.”

The Breast BFFLBag® and Axilla•Pilla® were the first two products launched to enhance the experience for breast cancer patients. Elizabeth and her best friend, Sara Kerr Reges, RN, then created the Neuro/Brain BFFLBag® for patients recovering from traumatic brain injury, brain trauma, concussion, brain tumors and stroke. The Mommy/Delivery BFFLBag®, Prostate BFFLBag®, and many comfort bras and recovery accessories are among the newest offerings.

Feedback about BFFL has been positive from both patients and hospital staff across the country. In fact, several hospitals in New York, Washington D.C. and California have even implemented ongoing programs to provide BFFL Bags to their patients. For more information about the BFFL Co, visit For nurses interested in distributing BFFL bags at your hospital or practice, email

^ Back to top