With patient experience making up 25% of VBP dollars, most organizations have implemented programs designed to improve HCAHPS scores. Typically, these programs include some type of daily patient rounding. In addition to patient rounds, more organizations are including staff rounding as part of their rounding and patient satisfaction initiatives. The practice is based on an abundance of literature pointing to satisfied staff having a strong impact on patient satisfaction.
At Opal Group’s recent Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) Summit in Atlanta, GA – September 18-19, 2017, there was a presentation “Quality Metrics for the CNO”. The session was led by Candace Smith, CNO from Manatee Memorial Hospital. During the presentation she made some interesting key points:
- “Excellent staff engagement = excellent patient engagement”
- “If poor engagement then poor quality and poor patient satisfaction”
After the session, audience members asked a variety of meaningful questions. However, there were three in particular that caught my attention:
- “Where is staff satisfaction on your list of priorities?
- “How do you assess staff engagement?”
- “How does staff satisfaction play a role in quality?”
An interesting discussion followed, but the overriding consensus of the audience was that staff satisfaction is a high priority that leads to improved patient satisfaction and quality delivery of care. The challenge for most organizations was how they could measure and analyze levels of staff satisfaction and staff engagement.
Annual surveys, a lagging measure, were most often the primary assessment tool. Even those organizations doing frequent staff rounds struggled to aggregate written data from staff nurses and adequately record feedback. The results of the surveys become anecdotal without identification of trends and targeted action plans. Without visibility into trends, the process would lose value as leadership could not effectively communicate to staff members that their feedback was being taken seriously.
As an attendee of the session, I couldn’t help but think about the efficiencies to be gained by standardizing and digitizing the process of staff rounding. With so much time dedicated to staff rounds and questionnaires, having a digital tool to help collect meaningful data, would prove to be a valuable asset. With a solution such as Orchid, leaders would be able to understand trends, develop action plans, and communicate with staff to ensure their issues were being resolved.
The following example of staff rounding efficiency illustrates the power of digital rounding.
- Rounding on Staff:
- Thirty rounds were done on bedside nursing staff and 18 of those rounds noted issues. A drill-down of the data showed that there were 18 responders with equipment issues around IV pumps. These responders and issues were located in two units that transferred the majority of their patients to three specialty locations.
After looking at the data, leadership found that the three specialty locations had a surplus of IV pumps that often ended up in unit storage areas.
Leadership developed and executed upon an action plan to alleviate the issue by proactively rounding on affected units and reallocating clean pumps to other units.
By leveraging a tool that makes the process of gathering and recording employee feedback more efficient, leadership is able to quickly close the loop on staff issues. This was a simple action plan that was based on feedback obtained directly from nursing staff and quickly turned into actionable information targeted to the affected areas. Nursing staff felt the positive results and were more likely to engage with leadership and keep the feedback coming. Patients benefited as well as there was less wait-time for IV pump intervention.
By focusing on staff feedback and satisfaction, the hospital was able to drive efficiencies that had a positive impact on staff daily lives and patient hospital stays. Learn more about how digital rounds can greatly improve patient and staff satisfaction.