To Boost Patient Satisfaction Scores, Engage Nurses
“To generalize: Nurses are warm, whereas doctors are cool. Nurses act like real people; doctors often act like aristocrats. Nurses look you in the eye; doctors stare slightly above and to the right of your shoulder.”
Nurses find whatever time they can spare so they can interact with their patients and the organization should recognize the value of these interactions. Too often, hospitals haven’t been talking about patient satisfaction with their staff in the right way.
There needs to be a shift in the conversation:
- Try focusing on the innate nursing qualities that mean so much to patients and that make the difference between a good stay and a bad one.
- Help nurses understand that patient satisfaction scores are not dependent on whether the TV shows HBO or the nursing staff act as waitresses.
- Convey to nurses the idea that asking them to focus on patient satisfaction is not about adding tasks to their day; rather, it is valuing what nurses already do and helping them find ways to do more of the good stuff.
Changing the nature of the conversation and involving nursing in the solutions may make more difference to patients emotional and physical care—and thus the patient satisfaction scores—than any gourmet food tray ever could.
Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits www.StrategiesForNurseManagers.com and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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