A colleague recently called to talk about how he could get nurses more engaged in the patient experience. When I asked what he was currently doing, he mentioned several ways he was keeping them apprised of the data. He talked about scores during rounds. He made sure they were posted on the bulletin boards and asked nurse managers to talk about the scores as well.
I pointed out that his focus on the scores was anything but engaging. Many of the nurses told me they felt beat up over HCHAPS. I explained that, if he really wanted to engage nurses, he needed to start with ‘WHY’ in order to engage the heart first.
“But the scores are the why”
“The scores are the ‘why,’” he said. “We cannot have such lousy scores and expect to build loyalty. They have to improve.”
Sadly, this scenario plays out daily across the country. If the focus is on the numbers alone, then chances are you won’t be motivating change. Fortunately he was open to my suggestions. He started talking to the nurses about why they chose nursing and what great care looks like. My colleague asked them what they hoped patients would say about their care and what they could do to deliver a patient experience that earned their patients’ praise. He encouraged storytelling and recognition. In other words, he took the focus off of the numbers and put it back on the nurse/patient relationship.
I’m pleased to say that the nurses are now more engaged in the patient experience. They are actively engaging in ways to improve the nurse/patient partnership. Oh, and by the way, the scores are improving.