IMPROVING BEDSIDE MANNER

Collegiality between nurses and their supervisors correlated with greater patient satisfaction

Client: Large Urban Hospital

Challenge: Each year this hospital worked to improve its patient satisfaction scores, until the point where it started to become difficult to outdo their own improvements.

Outcome: By examining low scoring items on nurse opinion survey scores, it was determined that by improving relationships with their supervisors, marked improvements in patient satisfaction would follow. This shift led to improvements in national scores for top hospitals.

Discovery When compared to the rest of the organization, a survey administered to over 400 nurses identified the following low scoring items: overall job satisfaction; co-worker performance/cooperation, communication, and supervisor consideration. At the same time this hospital wished to improve its standing in a national score of top hospitals. Key to this ranking is patient satisfaction scores, and my hypothesis was that - just like in most organizations - the greatest indicator of client satisfaction (patient in this case) is the relationship between the caregiver and their supervisor.

Dialogue: Low satisfaction scores and an attempt to improve national standing could both be attempted through a process that allowed nurses to develop solutions to the most common issues of contention with supervisors. Once these issues were identified, a sample of nurses identified mutually acceptable ways for moving forward together as better communicators and stewards of compassion.

Epiphany: Given the right tools, trust and resources, people can examine their assumptions and develop genuinely helpful solutions to their own problems. By putting nurses in the driver's seat, we were able to see improvements in their own satisfaction as well as those they care for.

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