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Insight Report: High-Quality Nursing Care Stems from 3 Factors

Analysis  |  By Jennifer Thew RN  
   January 31, 2017

Improvements in patient safety, quality of care, and organizational processes are fostered by work environments that empower and engage frontline nursing staff, nursing leaders say.

Creating an organizational culture that emphasizes quality, safety, and continuous process improvement is a must in order to provide value-based care.

More than two dozen nurse executives discussed nursing's in role providing high-quality patient care along with strategies to reduce errors, promote best practices, and support process improvement during nursing quality roundtable sessions at HealthLeaders Media's invitation-only 2016 CNO Exchange at the Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, CA in November.

According to the group discussions, high-quality nursing care hinges on three components:

  1. Frontline engagement
  2. Empowerment
  3. Accountability

1. Engagement

When she began her role at Montefiore Health System's Wakefield campus in Bronx, New York, Joan O'Brien, MSN, RN, NE-BC, director of nursing, intentionally focused on ways to boost staff engagement as a means to improve the facility's HCAHPS scores.

"We created a list of 'nine elements' of how staff could [positively] connect with and engage patients and colleagues—namely by showing courtesy and respect," she says.

Knocking on the door before entering a patient's room, introducing oneself to patients and families, and asking for permission before assessing a patient are visible ways to communicate respect.

"Can I take your blood pressure? Which arm would you like for me to use? By asking, you're connecting with the patient," O'Brien says.

These interventions may sound simple, but they are effective. Over a four-year timeframe, the Wakefield campus' patient satisfaction scores rose and it received a patient satisfaction award from Press Ganey.

Jennifer Thew, RN, is the senior nursing editor at HealthLeaders.

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