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10 Ways to Help Nurses Improve Patient Satisfaction

Rebecca Hendren, for HealthLeaders Media, September 6, 2011

8. Nurse-led initiatives: Don’t simply hand down service improvement programs from above and tell nurses what to do. Programs driven by nurses have ready-made support and are often much more effective. Nurses will be more engaged in improving patient satisfaction when they develop ideas themselves and are accountable for success or failure.

9. Nurse empowerment: Nurses with autonomy over their practices provide better patient care. Ensure that the nurse practice council is robust and able to make decisions about clinical practice. Empower a nurse staffing committee to make decisions about safe patient care.

10. Demonstrate caring: According to Gallup polls, nurses are the most trusted professionals in the country. People can relate to nurses, whereas physicians can be intimidating to ordinary patients. The best patient satisfaction scores happen when patients feel genuinely cared for and cared about. Most nurses do this automatically. They bring an extra blanket or sit down and hold a patient’s hand for a few short minutes to provide comfort. Value these small details and recognize them publicly so that nurses know these parts of their role are just as important as the rest.


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 rhendren@hcpro.com.
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