Empowering Nurses at the Bedside and in Business

Patient Satisfaction Scores

I have wanted to write an article on this for a while.  I was surprised to learn that the government has chosen to include patient satisfaction into the mix of hospital reimbursements!

Let’s realize that we are dealing with a population (patients) comprised of individuals who are ill to begin with.  When one is ailing, they are distracted by their discomfort to the degree that they are unable to accurately gauge whether the care they are receiving is good. Imagine a patient who is a “drug-seeker” and the expected medications are not forthcoming in a timely manner?  That may drive down the satisfaction score for that person.

I don’t believe these surveys actually measure true quality of patient interactions.  A person tends to rate something higher when there is a good relationship with their healthcare provider.  However, a good relationship does not necessary equate to good care.

As a result of these patient satisfaction scores, hospitals, in turn, have been critical of some nurses in their communication skills and attitudes.  While these may be a good indicator, certainly they are subjective.  For example, one may feel that another is abrasive while that second person believes their tone was perfectly appropriate.

What I know is that when nurses are happy and satisfied, it will be lead to improved patient satisfaction.

What are your facilities doing to ensure that you are happy and satisfied in your job so that the patients too can be satisfied?

I would love to hear your comments below.

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