Background: Responsiveness of the hospital staff is one of the composite topics that are publicly reported from the HCAHPS results. The HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey is a standardized survey instrument and data collection methodology used since 2006 to measure patient’s perspectives of hospital care. There are 27 questions and 10, including staff responsiveness, are reported publicly on Hospital Compare. Needless to say, patient satisfaction and patient safety are two of the major benchmarks that measure the quality of health services provided.
Purpose: The overall goal of this project is to create and analyze solutions affecting the relations between response time to patient's calls and positive patient feedback.
Method: Key unit stakeholders were identified during the planning phase for effective program implementation. Baseline data utilized were generated from nurse call system responsiveness reports. Unit layout and call escalation process was revisited to assess and mitigate waste generation. Staffing assignment was redesigned to be more focused on responsiveness to calls. Additionally, key staff members implemented a meet-and-greet process including refresher courses to optimize the use of communication device. Outcomes were monitored and analyzed using run chart. Lastly, individualized response generation were conducted through targeted leadership rounds to provide meaningful feedback to stakeholders.
Results: The project used the call light activities initiated by patients and compared staff responsiveness as quantified by time. Benchmarking was determined based on an internal goal set by the organization and adopted at the unit level as a guide for monitoring progress. Data comparison from pre-implementation for the first two quarters of 2021, and post-project implementation on the third quarter of 2021 until the end of the first quarter of 2022, the number of calls decreased by 40 percent from the baseline and the unit started to achieve target to superior on timeliness of calls. Ultimately, the positive outcome started to reflect on improved HCAHPS score on the responsiveness of hospital staff domain.
Relevance/significance: Poor responsiveness of clinical staff to patient needs may result in patient dissatisfaction and compromise safety negatively impacting the health care system. Although technology is available to support staff responsiveness, its meaningful utilization requires a multimodal approach from nurse leaders. Strategic interventions that foster prompt responsiveness of staff is attributed to better outcomes and patient experience.
Conclusion: A patient's experience is a sum of their interactions with clinical nursing teams and medical outcomes. Improving responsiveness of hospital staff by implementing strategies to ensure prompt response to patient calls promotes a trusting nurse-patient relationship and positive patient experience.
Evidence-based references 1. Karakashian, A.(2017). Hospital Communication System: the Call Bell. Cinahl Information Systems, EBSCO Information services. 2. Tzeng, H. (2012). Relationship of actual response time to call lights and patient satisfaction at 4 US hospitals. Journal of Nursing Quality, 27(2), E1-8. 3. Tzeng, H. (2011). Perspectives of Patients and Families about the nature of and reasons for call light use and staff call light response time. Medsurg Nursing, 20(5), 225-234.