Tools for Assessing Nursing Quality Include Surveys

Cheryl Clark, July 13, 2015

Interest in using a variety of staffing and nursing engagement surveys as a reportable quality indicator is growing.

This article first appeared in the June 2015 issue of HealthLeaders magazine.

Leslie Radocy, RN
Leslie Radocy, RN

Do your hospital's nurses feel empowered? Are nurses' relationships with physicians strong enough that nurses can call out errors or ask questions without fear? Do they think their hospital hires enough nurses with appropriate skills and provides enough resources to provide safe and timely care? Are nurses involved in making policy?

When nurses are surveyed on these and related questions, which they increasingly are, poor scores may indicate troublesome systemic issues that could, directly or indirectly, affect quality of care, even adverse events. A drop in scores can often be tracked down to a specific hospital unit, research has shown. And poor scores may correlate to "nursing sensitive" patient outcomes, such as patient falls, lengths of stay, pressure ulcers, and infections.

Simply put, this measure is asking nurses what they think about the organization for which they work and how well they trust the care they deliver in their work environments.

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