Nursing Lifestyle

How Chief Nursing Staff Should Use the Four Pillars of Patient Experience

How Chief Nursing Staff Should Use the Four Pillars of Patient Experience

Nursing is known to be one of the most challenging professions that requires a certain amount of passion in order to help a patient recover properly.

According to experts, the staff of a patient-care setting, especially chief nursing officers, are responsible for many important aspects of patient experience, which are:

  • Leadership development
  • Succession planning
  • Nursing practice
  • Standards of care
  • Family experience (knowing that patient relatives are also affected by the treatment patients receive.)

These chief nursing officers also carry the weight of being responsible for recruiting nurses, train them and ensure they remain engaged in their respective roles. For all these reasons, chief nurses are considered to have a job that is critical in patient-care settings since family experience and employee engagement are commonly called the two cornerstones that help healthcare settings achieve success.

It is worth mentioning that the effects of these cornerstones can be seen in the economic success of the facility and therefore dictate whether it is a good idea to invest in it or not.

A study that was published in Health Affairs  revealed that patient engagement is narrowly related to the possibility of lowering economic costs and developing a good reputation that allows increasing the number of patients a healthcare facility assists. The patients involved asked what exactly made them choose specific healthcare facilities over others, and the answers showed that they chose based off of how understanding each facility would be, towards their condition and their needs. The staff also played a role in how they provided the comfort needed to provide certain treatments.

Evaluating the four pillars of patient experience

Among the most important aspects of patient care is human interaction, which is well-beyond the quality of care. According to  experts, nurses represent more than 60 percent of the human interactions patients have. Nurses compromise most of the human interaction with patients, throughout their entire stay at a healthcare facility, way more time than they spend with doctors.

Another aspect that also needs to be taken into account, in order to improve the patient experience, is the impact of IT solutions in making the experience more efficient and increase the level of comfort. Chief nurse officers need to make patient engagement a priority and the only way to achieve this is by following what are called the four pillars of patient experience that ensure the best outcomes possible for the patient experience. Such pillars are:

First Pillar: Partnering with the patients

The first pillar sets the base for an excellent experience with patients and making them feel more comfortable with the staff in charge of their treatment and care. Amongst the most important aspects of this pillar are:

  • Setting a good line of communication with the patient, letting the patient know the appropriate expectations they should have for their care.
  • Enhance trust in clinical staff, encouraging patients to be autonomous.
  • Let patients know they can ask you questions and learn more about their health status.

Second Pillar: Education is a must have

Knowledge allows to dissipate doubts and questions patients may have regarding their condition or their treatment, for that reason chief nurse officers should promote:

  • Finding tools and technologic solutions that can be assigned to diagnosis or treatment procedures in order to relieve nurses from the burden of having to remember each one of them.
  • Make sure patients review all educational aspects so that the organization can make sure they are effective.
  • It is important to highlight the importance of education completion and comprehension as a leading role in the patient experience.

Third Pillar: Culture of accountability for patients

Registering every single decision reduces the margin of error of most treatments. It is recommended to:

  • Assigning the responsibility on patients to complete any assigned goals should be part of the overall care process.
  • It is also suggested to create lists of questions and concerts in the forms of surveys to prevent committing the same mistakes over and over again.
  • Patients and nurses can find comfort using digital service requests as it seems to trigger a better response than the call button, which tends to cause fatigue and distract nurses from their work.

Fourth Pillar: The Importance of Feedback

Probably the most important step to incorporate meaningful changes to any process that can have a great impact on future outcomes is to pay attention to feedback.

  • It is important to assist patients in real-time in order to address potential issues before they become a serious concern and affect the level of patient satisfaction.
  • Digital rounding tools have shown to be quite beneficial to help workers attach the schedule. This fosters a patient-care team relationship.

The financial value of embracing these the four pillars of patient experience

According to a study that took place in 2016, your facility can earn at least $2 billion in revenue from improving the patient experience. If not, some facility could experience a cut of approximately 470 jobs. This percentage of growth was equal to 2.3.

Other recommendations that can be mentioned are the following:

  • Make great emphasis on personal attention, on the care of all the details that patients value in health services: cleanliness, the absence of noise, wait-time, telephone manner, email and web page assistance, respectful and attentive treatment, etc.
  • A flexible healthcare system and with the maximum freedom to choose (doctor, nurse, dentist for children and hospital), with precise information for it (schedules, waiting list, location, quality indicators of centers and services, etc.)
  • Launching the Community Nursing and the figure of the Personal Nurse Liaison, a service of special importance for elderly, chronic, convalescent, newborn and their mothers, etc.
  • Practical, programmed and permanently updated development of what the Rights of Patients imply, through regulations, Good Practice Guidelines, Codes of Conduct, etc.