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10 Ways to Help Nurses Improve Patient Satisfaction

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   September 06, 2011

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.

5. Sitting down: Something as simple as sitting down when talking with patients can make a huge difference in satisfaction scores. Sitting down at the bedside implies that the nurse has time for the patient and is actively interested in the conversation.

6. Patient education: Make time for patient education. Nurses are pulled in a thousand different ways and often feel obligated to complete patient education as quickly as possible. But this time spent one-on-one means so much to patients. We know that patients often are too overwhelmed or intimidated to process information provided by physicians during initial diagnosis or post-procedure, and they look to nurses for easy-to-understand translation of difficult or complicated news. Put a value on this time with patients so that nurses will prioritize it.

7. Bedside report: Instead of conducting report at the nurse’s station or break room, do it at the bedside. Patients should be empowered to take an active part in their care. Increase their autonomy by discussing report in their presence and encouraging their involvement.

Rebecca Hendren is a senior managing editor at HCPro, Inc. in Danvers, MA. She edits and manages The Leaders' Lounge blog for nurse managers. Email her at

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