Every healthcare provider, no matter how effective, experiences a slump in patient perception from time to time. When reports and surveys start to show a decline in patients’ care experience, healthcare providers often immediately decide that the best solution is to hire more staff, namely nurses, to address patient needs. Of course, hiring new staff is not an easy process, and can put a strain on budgets.
However, according to a recent “Nursing Special Report” released by Press Ganey Holdings, adding a few more names to the payroll might not be necessary to improve the patient care experience. The report, which takes into account National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators, HCAHPS, engagement and pay-for-performance data, strongly suggests that the work environment of nurses has as much if not more influence on their performance as staffing numbers. Improving the nursing work environment can be a cost-effective, streamlined way to improve patient experience scores and patient perception of a healthcare facility.
The report analyzes relationships between environment, staffing and performance measures gathered from multiple sources. From the study of these factors, the report’s authors drew several key conclusions, all of which indicated that the work environment was the most influential factor in nursing performance. While the patient experience improves with more nurse and RN staffing hours, patient experience across the board improves when environments are overall highly rated, regardless of RN hours. Furthermore, when environments are poor, even hospitals with high staffing scores suffer in patient experience scores. Commenting in a statement, Press Ganey CNO Chris Dempsey called nurses “vital” to the care experience.
According to the report, effective, efficient nursing environments enhance the perception of care for both patients and nurses. Instead of channeling funds towards higher staff numbers, which may in the long run be an ineffective investment, health facility managers should focus on improving the work environment for nurses in whatever areas they deem necessary.
As a provider of streamlined, efficient medical linen and laundry services, ImageFIRST Kansas City may be able to help healthcare facility managers improve the work environment for their staff. Products like sanitized, hand-inspected nurse uniforms in Kansas City, MO can contribute to greater morale and better patient perceptions overall. Learn more at http://kansas-city.imagefirst.com.