Patient satisfaction

  1. Okay guys - I need some fresh ideas. I have recently began a new job as an ED nurse manager (in the same ED that I was a staff nurse in) Administration, of course, wants me to come up with ways to improve patient/family satisfaction. Because the ED is the first place most people enter the hospital, I do believe this issue is important. The ED is in a small rural hospital that has recently been "leased" by a larger healthcare system. There have been alot of changes lately - and many have been positive changes. In two weeks we will be moving to a brand new ED, and it is beautiful. But we have a few "old timers" that are relucant to any change. So I feel like the first step is to improve staff morale. And then start a more formal type patient satisfaction program. Any ideas?? What is everyone out there doing to improve patient satisfaction scores????:kiss
  2. Visit atownsendrn profile page

    About atownsendrn

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 243; Likes: 3
    emergency RN


  3. by   frann
    Do you'll give out blankets, crayons etc to the patients waiting?
    Our ER just moved to a big fancy new er also. We have looong waits to be seen. We were in a few months ago and I couldn't believe all the patients that didn't need to be there. Our total stay was 8 hours in the waiting room and in that time I saw 2 squads bring in patients and dump them in the waiting room.
    Most of these people were young and uneducated. Is it okto have posters/signs on the walls talking about symptom/treatment for common ailments. IE fever-give tylenol or motrin. s/s of common cold/flu . because of the long waits at our er, they give the patients the little buzzers that go off when its your turn- just like outback, but no steakdinner.
  4. by   AngelGirl
    Last year, I was a patient briefly in an ER other than my own. I noted some things that really bothered me about the place, so I'll pass them along. SO EASY to FIX!!

    Every employee should wear a readable name tage. Those I met either wore none, or one out of my range to see (dangling from a hip pocket) or those fancy little flip over ones, with just writing on the back.

    Everyone who enters the patients' rooms should introduce himself. NONE of those I met did this. I had to guess at their professions. (except for the X-ray tech, since he had his machine with him). It takes only ONE MOMENT to say "Hi, my name is...I'll be your nurse today/tonight." or "Hi, I'm Dr. ........" SIMPLE! Then the patient knows that you aren't the plumber in to fix the sink, and happen to enjoy discussing medicine!

    To promote unity among your employees, you might try this: (I've seen it used and it works)...Give people pens and paper and a few minutes at a meeting to write out their positive comments (anonymously or not) about one another. Have then submit all comments to the leader of the meeting, who then has them separated into piles for each person. He/she then reads the comments aloud to the group. It promotes a positive outlook and validates peoples' feelings of worth. Everyone benefits from being complimented and respected.
    Be sure to pass the papers on to the person who is being complimented.

    Good luck in your new position!!
  5. by   teeituptom
    Good luck to you. You have taken on a difficult job. Often thankless. Often you get griped at by pts, MDs, Supervisors. and Staff. You are in the middle ground called Hello. Been there done that way too long.

    Nevermore, quoth the raven
  6. by   debbyed
    See if you can develop a "Patient Rep" position for the ER. In many cases this can be staffed cheaply by using Social Work interns and sometimes qualified volunteers (expecially retired nurses who enjoy getting out and feeling useful).

    Have them make rounds of the waiting room and patient rooms offering blankets, pillows, wait time information and coffee/juice as allowed. These Reps. can also act as a go between when patients have questions/concerns, letting the charge nurse or triage nurse know about a concern before it becomes a full blown complaint.

    Our patient satisfaction scores went up dramatically after we added a Patient Rep. Both patients and their families felt there was someone there who cared about their concerns. Our wait times have continued to increase due to increased census, but patient conplaints have decreased.
  7. by   nightangel99
    1. We too, have a patient rep that works weekends only, which seems to be our peak days (or at least they used to be).

    2. The number one complaint in EDs is wait time. Imagine being in 4 walls with no update. Make sure every 30 minutes the patients understand the reason for any delays.

    3. Blankets, coffee, pillows, and don't forget the family members.

    4. Install TVs and Phones in the rooms (Can you tell who works in the Emergency Hilton?)

    5. Call your patient by name when you know they are listening but they think you dont know it. In the nurses station, say, Mr. Smith, not the kidney stone in bed 8.

    6. Our hospital staffs the fast track unit with PAs. Average total length of stay for these patients is 1 hour. Treat and street.

    7. We have these little cards that say "Sorry we met by accident" and these other cards that have something appropriate for general illness. At the bottom, it says Your nurse's name is ______, when survey comes in mail, they remember you.

    8. We have Medhost tracking system to keep up with our times (doc times, lab return times, length of stay, etc.) This system also allows us to make room assignments from triage. You take the patient straight back from triage to room. Seems trivial, but 5 minutes times 100 patients a day = 500 minutes or 8.3 hours. In 8.3 hours, you can see 8 fastrack patients or 4 mainstream patients. In a week, you can increase your productivity by up to 56 patients. Do the math yourself.

    9. Have local charities or coworkers collect stuffed animals for children that come to the ED. We had a family whose trailer (OK we are in lower alabama) burned down on christmas eve. We went across the street to Dollar General and bought dresses for the little girls, nighties and underwear, shirts and slacks for dad, etc. It was the best Christmas ever for us.

    10. We moved to our new ED 4 years ago. It will be a stressful move for everyone. If it is larger, it will feel a little more impersonal. Work on morale before the move.

    Hope I helped....
  8. by   TampaCCRN
    Good luck, my ER did a patient satisfactory kick last year trying to make it a "Disney Experience" which was a HUGE joke for how busy we are. And there are just some patients that won't be happy no matter what you do... because they are sick!! The biggest thing though is you are never going to get the patient satisfactory rate up unless you make sure your employees are taken care of and happy.
  9. by   redshiloh
    I liked th ED I was in that had a TV and VCR playing movies in the waiting room. Helps make the wait easier to tolerate.
  10. by   nightangel99
    The biggest thing though is you are never going to get the patient satisfactory rate up unless you make sure your employees are taken care of and happy.
    Although this may be true, it is actually a continuous cycle. Who comes first though, the chicken or the egg? It costs money to operate a hospital. Money comes from patients. Patients not happy, hospital gets no money. Hospital gets no money, nurses get no benefits. No money. No happiness. NO TAKEN CARE OF. And if you think you can take your career elsewhere and it will be better, remember that your attitude is infectious and at some point we have to break the cycle.

    On the other hand, I agree that this is a demanding field. Personally, I do it for the gratification that I get. Not so much the money, but it sure helps a lot. The bottom line is you are in a helping profession because you chose to help. Lord knows I would love to make more money than I do. But nurses have no union, and people have to eat and pay bills. So unless you can afford to strike, try burning the candle at the end that has the wick FIRST, then see what happens. If you put yourself in a position where a raise or better benefits are warranted, then it makes it easier for administration to bend, in a perfect world. Note the sarcasm. Just my four cents.
  11. by   veetach
    I totally agree with the happy employees are productive employees theory. I currently work in a very very busy ED and our morale is rock bottom. Management constantly thinks about numbers, JCAHO, numbers, etc etc etc.. and never considers the staff. It shows.

    Our productivity is down, patients are angry, staff is angry and frankly many of our dedicated experienced nurses are looking for other jobs. The management team will be left with a hand full of new grads or almost new grads and then what will they do??

    As a nurse manager, please dont forget your roots, you were once a staff nurse, dont forget how it fealt....