Web site spotlight: Get a high five for your patient care

Nurse Leader Insider, March 16, 2009

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Patient satisfaction scores fell to 33% at CHRISTUS Hospital-St. Mary in Port Arthur, TX, in 2005. A percentage that didn't sit well with the organization's nursing directors and managers.

"We immediately formed a patient satisfaction team to determine what lengths we were going to go in order to make our patients happy," says Jane Rawls, RN, MEd, the CNO at CHRISTUS a 661-bed hospital. "We were on a limited budget and knew we could do this cost-effectively by changing mind-sets, attitudes, and overall culture."

In just one year, these changes boosted patient satisfaction scores above the 90th percentile.

The patient satisfaction team comprised Rawls, nursing directors, unit managers, and Tami Vanderheiden, RN, guest relations manager. The group met daily to review issues on patient units and implement initiatives to address patient needs. Several changes, including giving managers and directors ownership of their unit's satisfaction ratings, emerged from the meetings.

The team began its journey toward improving patient satisfaction scores by having unit managers conduct daily patient rounds. When managers entered a patient's room, they would identify themselves as the manager of the unit and state their name, how long they'd been at CHRISTUS, and their clinical experience. During the rounding, the managers gauged the level of patient satisfaction by implementing a scoring system called 5-on-the-Board.

To use the system, a manager would ask a patient to rate his or her care on a scale of 1-5 (with 5 being "very good"). The manager would write the patient's response on a dry erase board located in the room. He or she would then explain that the board is where the patient's care was rated and note that the number may be adjusted if service issues occurred.

Editor's note: This excerpt was adapted from the article, "Get a high five for your patient care" featured in The Reading Room on HCPro's online resource center,

Are you in need of continuing education (CE) credits? Check out this month's CE article on preventing surgical site infections or visit our archives and view a compilation of CE articles (marked with an asterisk).

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