Nurse Communication and Patient Experience

Posted on January 15, 2013. Filed under: Communication, Newsletter Archive, Patient Experience, Post By Christy Whipple |

Christy Whipple

“..overall patient satisfaction is linked with quality nursing care, which, in turn, depends on nurse satisfaction…” 

Nurse with elderly patient

It has long been believed that nurses are the backbone of any health care institution and the ‘face’ of the daily care that patients receive. So it’s no surprise that the HCAHPS survey section on nurses’ communication has been found to have the greatest impact on overall patient satisfaction and likelihood to recommend the hospital to family and friends. Nurse communication is an integral part of patient experience and satisfaction.

Nurse Communication Directly Relates to Patient Satisfaction

Recently, popular journal, Quality Management in Health Care, released an article outlining a study regarding the success of nurse communication. The objective was to determine the extent of patient satisfaction with care provided at the hospital at all levels and to correlate patients’ satisfaction with nursing care, in particular, with their overall satisfaction. The study involved a random sample of 420 inpatients in a 110 bed hospital. They found that the overall patient satisfaction with the quality of care provided at the hospital was found to be quite high (Excellent, 74.7%; Very good, 23.7%). Individually, nursing care received the maximum patient satisfaction ratings (Excellent, 91.9%; Very good, 3.9%). A positive correlation was noted between patients’ perception of nursing care and their overall satisfaction with the health care provided at the hospital. They concluded that overall patient satisfaction is linked with quality nursing care, which, in turn, depends on nurse satisfaction, which adds to their work effectiveness and motivates them to provide quality patient care.

HCAHPS Illustrate Importance of Nurse Communication

The impact of nursing care on patient satisfaction and patient outcomes has long been established but hadn’t been linked to financial incentives – until now, with the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems initiative. (HCAHPS) According to one nursing educator at American Sentinel University, HCAHPS is poised to have a profound impact on health care and offers a positive and unexpected opportunity to advance the entire nursing profession. With HCAHPS, there is now have a science focused around patient-centered care and a way to measure care that was not in place before. When a nurse is aware of the patient’s perception of the care they are receiving, the nurse can now take measures to correct any negative habits and use the information as a learning tool to increase quality of patient care.

Nurses may Benefit from HCAHPS

Although standardized surveys often carry negative connotations, nurses can view the HCAHPS initiative as a positive and unexpected opportunity to advance nursing interests. HCAHPS is the opportunity for which nurses to demonstrate that what they do does make a difference in health care. Studies have also shown that patient satisfaction is higher when nurses have a better work environment, greater collaboration with physicians and more favorable staffing ratios. Hospitals haven’t always taken note of this data, but now they may have to – and nurses are poised to benefit when they do.

Introcomm provides custom communications solutions for the admissions and discharge processes. To learn more about how Introcomm can assist your hospital with HCAHPS, patient experience, and improved communication (with little to no additional out of pocket expense), please contact us today to schedule our complimentary educational webinar.


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