Purpose: Improving the patient experience, Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) communication scores, and staff satisfaction using sit to connect for communicating with patients.
Relevance: Improving the patient experience promotes loyalty in patients, improves HCAHPS Domain Score in the hospital value-based purchasing program, and staff retention. The project facility had been unable to surpass a mean of 70.6% in communication scores prior to starting the sit to connect program.
Strategy and implementation: The development of a staff council on improving the patient experience was established in August 2018. The council reviewed evidence-based practice focusing on sitting when communicating with the patient to improve the perception of spending quality time together. The council utilized the model for improvement with multiple PDSAs for their framework. In November 2018, 11 medical- surgical unit staff members received education on the intervention. An audit tool was designed to measure compliance of staff sitting with the patient. In January 2019, a sit to connect challenge was implemented to have medical-surgical units compete against each other for the monthly Golden Chair award for the highest compliance of nursing staff sitting with patients.
PDSA cycles revealed the need for a staff survey, audit tool revisions, a quality advisor, and change of intervention name from commit to sit to sit to connect. Sustainability was achieved, and in August 2019, the project was expanded to 14 units. The sit to connect program was included in the customer service orientation for all new hires.
Evaluation and outcome: The outcome measures were the monthly HCAHPS scores for the medical-surgical units. The mean communication score from January to July 2019 improved to 78.8%.
Implication for practice: The sit to connect program has been successful in the medical-surgical units. The emergency department has integrated the initiative into their daily workflow. The program has shown that staff nurses had fresh ideas and a willingness to bring about improvements in their units where improvement had previously been unsuccessful.
References: 1. George, S. (2018). Commit to Sit to improve nurse communication. Critical Care Nurse, 38(2), 83-85. doi:10.4037/ccn2018846 2. Strasser, F., Palmer, J. L., Willey, J., Shen, L., Shin, K., Sivesind, D., & Bruera E. (2005). Impact of physician sitting versus standing during inpatient oncology consultations: patients’ preference and perception of compassion and duration. A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Pain & Symptom Management, 29(5), 489–497. Retrieved from http://csulb.idm.oclc.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=rzh&AN=106397680&site=ehost-live