Explanatory paper on healthcare reforms

HCAHPS Survey

Introduction

According to Institute for Healthcare Improvement (2016), healthcare reforms are aimed at achievement of three aims including improvement of patient outcomes. To achieve this goal the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and System (HCAHPS) has developed a survey used to collect information regarding different perspectives of health care delivery. This explanatory paper presents a discussion of the topic selected from the HCAHPS survey is ‘Care from Nurses’.

The HCAHPS Survey Topic Selected

Nursing care one of the domains in the HCAHPS survey, is one of areas of concern in the healthcare system today. The way nurses communicate and interact with their patients has a direct influence on the patient satisfaction. As thus, ‘Care from Nurses’ domain helps in assessment of the quality of care offered by nurses. The questions from ‘Care from nurses’ domain include:

  1. During this hospital stay, how often did nurses treat you with courtesy and respect?
  2. During this hospital stay, how often did nurses listen carefully to you?
  3. During this hospital stay, how often did nurses explain things in a way you could understand?
  4. During this hospital stay, after you pressed the call button, how often did you get help as soon as you wanted it?

Recommendations

In order to enhance the increase the HCAHPS survey score health care providers should undertake the following recommendations:

  1. Train nurses on effective communication and listening skills

To ensure that nurses treat patients with courtesy and respect and, listen carefully to them it is imperative for health care providers to train them on effective communication and listening skills. Training nurses on effective communication and care will enhance their communication with patients significantly (Kourkouta & Papathanasiou, 2014). For instance, to ensure effective communication nurses should always introduce themselves on first encounter with a patient. In doing so, the nurse is able to develop rapport with the patient thus creating a platform for effective communication. In order, to ensure that they treat their patient it is imperative to train nurses on the importance of using language that is simple and easy to understand by patients. In addition, in order to ensure that they treat their patient it is imperative to train nurses on the importance of open communication with the patient and offering feedback to questions. It is also imperative for health care providers to train nurses on active listening skills. In doing so, health care providers will empower nurses with communication and listening skills in turn ensure they treat patients with courtesy and respect and, listen carefully to them and consequently increase the HCAHPS survey score.

  1. Train nurses on empathetic care

Training nurses on how to deliver of empathetic care will ensure that they are respectful and courteous to patients and enable them to explain things to patients in a way they can understand. In the article ‘Empathy and quality of care’. Mercer and Reynolds (2002) posit that empathetic care enables to communicate in a manner that exemplifies understanding; the nurse understanding the patients feelings, perspective and situation. Empathetic care will enable nurses explain things to patients in a way they can understand because they have insight into their feelings, perspective and situation. By integrating empathetic care in their interaction and communication with patients nurses will be able to respectful and courteous patients. In addition, empathetic care will enable nurses to listen carefully to them because they have a desire to understand the patient’s situations, feelings and perspective. In doing so, health care providers will be able increase the HCAHPS survey score.

  1. Train nurses on Effective rounding

Another measure that should be put in place in order increase the HCAHPS survey score is training nurses on effective rounding. Effective rounding encompasses techniques such as scheduled rounding and writing down any issues observed during the scheduled rounds (Thomsen, 2015). Basically, nurses should conduct scheduled rounds regularly. The interval of the scheduled should be determined by the needs and requirements of the patients under care of the nurse. By conducting the scheduled rounds and other duties under their purview they will ensure that call buttons by patients are only for emergency situations. The nurse will also be able to have blocks of time where they can be able to respond to patient’s call buttons promptly. In addition, by writing down any issues observed during the scheduled rounds nurses will be able to know patients that require extra care and attention thus will be able to respond to their call buttons promptly. Effective rounding techniques will thus enable nurses respond promptly when patients press the call button and consequently offer them help as soon as they want it. In doing so, nurses and, health care providers will be able increase the HCAHPS survey score.