Hospitals are becoming increasingly reimbursed and rated based upon patient satisfaction. Patient-centered care is a term being used to describe a new way of thinking about the care hospitals provide to their patients. Patient-centered care means that patients come first, patient communication should be improved across the board, and patients should be satisfied with their hospital visits.
The patient-centered concept has sparked new thinking in all aspects of care, from methods of sharing test results with patients to layouts of hospitals. Facilities aiming to provide this type of care have shown reductions in readmissions and increases in patient and caregiver satisfaction. However, providing this type of care from soup to nuts can be difficult and time-consuming to implement, largely because achieving patient-centered care requires cultural, procedural, and operational shifts. For staff to become more patient-centered, hospitals need to become more staff-centered.
We recently discussed what nurse satisfaction means and we feel that by empowering nurses, patient satisfaction follows suit. At one of our client hospitals we showed that by improving the rounding process, both patient and nurse satisfaction increased. Rather than interpret the shift from pen-and-paper rounding to e-rounding as a new technology to learn, with increased oversight to boot, nurses appreciated the investment in their daily workflow. Furthermore, the tool actually made the process more enjoyable, making it less of a necessary task handed from above and more of a crucial piece of improving patient care.
The impact of making rounds easier and more meaningful can influence a variety of stakeholders throughout the hospital. For instance when a patient complains of a dirty bathroom during a round, environmental services is automatically alerted.
- The nurse does not have to take time to contact and explain the issue to environmental services, giving the nurse more time to address patients’ health issues.
- The bathroom is cleaned promptly, helping build patient trust and increase satisfaction.
- The environmental services team is alerted in an organized manner and is held accountable for the time it takes to resolve the issue.
- The data can be used by the executive team to identify any gaps in the process that could help drive
All of these benefits can be applied to a variety of tasks and hospital functions. When the lives of staff members are improved they are more motivated to empowered to own their tasks and create improvements within the patient experiences. A shift from pen and paper to digital rounding streamlines communication, enhances workflows, and make the experience more enjoyable – all things that lead to patient-centered care. By starting with making staff member happier, hospitals reap the benefits of their patients being happier.