Nursing

Website spotlight: 10 ways to help nurses improve patient satisfaction

Nurse Leader Insider, September 12, 2011

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Improving patient satisfaction is a financial imperative. Nurses are on the frontline of patient interaction and can make or break the patient experience. So why do we make it so hard for them to have positive interactions with patients?

Here are 10 changes to nurse procedures and working conditions that would improve patient experience. Some are simple, others more complex, all are effective.

1. Scripting: Many fear that scripting means fast food restaurant-type rote responses. In fact, it's a useful tool when handled correctly. Scripting empowers nurses with tools to make their communication with patients easier. Regular discussion and training about patient interactions ensures nurses know what is expected. A scripting example: the hospital expects that all nurses will introduce and identify themselves and their professional credentials to new patients, and explain the treatment regimen. Scripting gives nurses tools for handling issues such as delayed procedures and lost test results. It also gives them tools for difficult situations such as deescalating angry patients.

2. Supplies: Keep frequently needed supplies in patient rooms and restock regularly. Maintain a multitude of stockrooms and supply cupboards and don't make nurses walk miles to track them down. It's frustrating for patients and staff when nurses have to stop what they are doing to track down supplies.

3. Uniforms: In many hospitals, RNs are indistinguishable to patients from the people delivering their meal trays. Consider choosing a defined scrub color for RNs to ensure that patients know who they can talk to and who is looking out for them.

4. Hourly rounding: Make a commitment to hourly rounding, and you will see patient satisfaction go up and call bell usage go down. Patients feel better when they know someone will be in to check on them within an hour. Alternating visits between RNs and nursing assistants ensures that the time commitment is manageable-and helps both groups plan their workflows since they no longer will spend so much time running after constant call lights.

Editor's note: Click here to read the rest of this free article in the Reading Room at
www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com.



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