This is an interesting topic and one that will not likely go away. As someone else already pointed out, patient surveys are here to stay whether Press Ganey or other forms of polling patients post admission. Scripting is nonsense. How silly I would think the staff if, as a patient, every nurse who entered my room said the same thing. As another pointed out, it is the Walmart syndrome. The first time you walk into a Walmart it's OK, by the second and third time it becomes rather annoying.
On the other hand, I don't fault administrative staff for wanting to assure that patients' needs are addressed, particularly comfort issues. I worked in acute care settings for a long time, floating to all the units of two differerent hospitals in two different states, working everywhere from the ICU units to the ER, med-surg, pediatrics and new born nursery. I have also been a patient myself a number of times. It is no secret that some basic comfort issues are not always given the attention they deserve. Small gestures can mean a lot and can in fact make a difference in the way a hospital stay is perceived regardless of the top notch care the staff has given when viewed from a clinical perspective. That is what administration is getting at and rightly so, even if their approach is rather silly. Nurses who care about patient comfort will find a way to show the patient they are interested in their needs without having to use some ridiculous scripted phrase.
Our agency sends out Press Ganey surveys and we get consistently high ratings. I see it as a positive reinforcement that we are doing a good job not because we asked some silly question but because we are all finding ways to make sure we are paying attention to the details. Every nurse I work with has their own style of doing that. If the fact that those surveys go out makes each of us sit up and pay attention to the fact that we are, after all taking care of human beings who are often scared, hungry, cold, in pain or distressed and who need some basic human kindness in the middle of all the machines and tests, poking and prodding, then that is, I think, a good thing.