I was recently doing a full-day patient experience workshop with staff nurses from several organizations and was stunned to learn that very few had ever seen the HCAHPS survey questions. Once exposed to the eight dimensions of the survey, they unanimously agreed that nurses could impact scores in all eight dimensions and were eager to explore solutions in greater depth.
What surprises me most is that when reimbursement is on the line, I would expect healthcare leaders to do more to engage nurses in making improvements. Improving patient satisfaction takes more than just telling staff to be nice. They have to first understand the patient perspective and then become involved in finding what works.
I’m very encouraged with the work I’ve been doing on helping nurses improve HCAHPS scores. Many of the nurses I have worked with were very eager to learn more about the patient perspective and what actions can improve the dimensions of satisfaction. The profession as a whole is geared toward a holistic approach to care. Once on board and engaged, nurses make all the difference in the patient experience and resulting HCAHPS scores.