There is a connection between nurses’ feelings about
their work environments and nursing quality and safety
Rebecca Hendren recently posted about a June 2015 Healthleaders magazine article focusing on steps organizations are taking to measure and improve nursing staff satisfaction. For anyone who hasn’t yet read it, I just want to share my favorite quote from the article. In it, Linda Aiken, PhD, a nursing workforce researcher and director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research (U. Penn) is quoted as saying that
Nursing “is the single biggest factor
in how patients rate their hospitals”
Do you agree with this statement? Have you seen the impact of improvements in nursing staff satisfaction on care quality, outcomes, and patient ratings? What tools or strategies have you used to improve staff retention and satisfaction? Please leave a comment sharing your experiences with your fellow nurse leaders.
For more details on the kinds of nursing staff surveys conducted by organizations that have received designation as ANCC Magnet Recognition Program® hospitals as well as those that have not, plus the source of the headline quote (which no one would dispute!), click here to go to the HealthLeaders article.
Interest in using a variety of nursing engagement surveys as a reportable quality indicator is growing.
This article, written by Cheryl Clark, appears in the June 2015 issues of HealthLeaders magazine.
Do your hospital’s nurses feel empowered? Are nurses’ relationships with physicians strong enough that nurses can call out errors or ask questions without fear? Do they think their hospital hires enough nurses with appropriate skills and provides enough resources to provide safe and timely care? Are nurses involved in making policy?
When nurses are surveyed on these and related questions, which they increasingly are, poor scores may indicate troublesome systemic issues that could, directly or indirectly, affect quality of care, even adverse events. A drop in scores can often be tracked down to a specific hospital unit, research has shown. And poor scores may correlate to “nursing sensitive” patient outcomes, such as patient falls, lengths of stay, pressure ulcers, and infections.
Simply put, this measure is asking nurses what they think about the organization for which they work and how well they trust the care they deliver in their work environments.
Read the full article here.
A good news follow-up on my February post that focused on nurses’ on-the-job injuries.
In a news release on healthcare inspections last week, OSHA put hospitals and nursing homes on notice. Inspectors will add new enforcement on some key hazards for healthcare workers, including musculoskeletal disorders, bloodborne pathogens, workplace violence, tuberculosis and slips, trips, and falls. Hospitals will be penalized for gaps in training, use of assistive devices, and low quality treatment for staff who move patients.
Evidently, OSHA was inspired by the NPR [more]
You know that the Joint Commission and other regulatory agencies have standards that require your hospital to have a plan to reduce the risk of deadly infections and make sure your medical equipment is in good working order.
So why risk incurring costly lawsuits and fines—not to mention the possibility of destroying your hospital’s accreditation and reputation—if an improperly disinfected GI scope causes a patient to contract a life-threatening infection?
It’s happening right now to Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle (read more here), where 11 people died after contracting deadly infections from improperly disinfected diagnostic scopes, and it could happen to your facility, too.
Let infection control experts Peggy Prinz Luebbert, MS, (MT)ASCP, CIC, CHSP, CBSPD, and Terry Micheels, MSN, RN, CIC, show you everything your organization needs to know to ensure proper GI scope disinfection and protect the lives of your patients.
Register for “Proper GI Scope Disinfection: How to Avoid Becoming a Statistic,” a 90-minute webcast that will cover the critical steps of high-level disinfection that must be met each and every day. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to ensure your organization complies with requirements set by The Joint Commission and CMS.
For more information or to register, check out the HCPro Marketplace, here.
As promised, you can now download the very practical and simple tool I mentioned in last week’s post (Not My Job: The legal perspective on updating job descriptions). I’ve created a Word file of the standard job description update letter, which you’ll find here. Don’t let its simplicity fool you; this is useful tool for legal risk reduction.
About the Word file: You can customize it to include your organization’s logo, address, and such. Use it as a simple way to document that your staff members understand changes in responsibilities and duties included in their job descriptions.
When you incorporate new practices or adapt to new standards that are reflected in updated job descriptions, you’ll simply ask each staff member to sign the letter acknowledging and committing to adhere to the revised job description, and place a copy in each employee’s file.
Many thanks to Dinah Brothers for this tool…
Dinah Brothers, RN, JD, is the author of The Essential Legal Handbook for Nurses (just released), sold as a set of 10 handbooks for staff nurses, and The Nurse Manager’s Legal Companion (release: July 2015), a book offering nurse managers guidance on everything from employment law to dealing with whistleblowers and everything in between.
I learn from every book I work on, but this latest one on accountability strategies really hit home. I now realize that when I say “I’ll try” to do something by a particular date, I haven’t truly committed to being accountable for the deadline. And when I hear the same words from someone else, I no longer take “I’ll try” to mean the commitment all managers want to hear from an engaged staff: the definitive YES.
I’ll try is what I say when I don’t really see how I’ll be able to make the commitment, but don’t stop to think about what’s in the way. Do I lack the resources, the bandwidth, or (worse) the interest? Am I just allergic to saying a simple “no” when I can’t squeeze the proverbial 10 pounds of sugar into a five pound bag?
As a manager whose goal is positive outcomes from an engaged staff, you need to train your ear to “hear” the difference between words that indicate accountability and those that fall short. Your staff can do the same, and when you’re all hearing and speaking the language of accountability, good things will happen.
To find out more about building accountability in your staff, go to the web page for the team-training handbook, Team-Building Handbook: Accountability Strategies for Nurses. For ideas on how to develop a culture of accountability starting with yourself, visit the web page for Accountability in Nursing: Six Strategies to Build and Maintain a Culture of Commitment.
Both are from Eileen Lavin Dohmann, MBA, BSN, RN, NEA-BC, the Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
HCPro is celebrating and recognizing nurses all week long with special giveaways, prizes, and promotions.
Join renowned critical thinking expert Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, for a 90-minute webcast for nurse managers, educators, and nursing professional development specialists about strengthening nursing staff’s critical-thinking skills.
This program provides practical strategies for developing critical-thinking skills in novice and experienced nurses. It discusses how to foster an ongoing program that emphasizes critical-thinking skills and how improved critical thinking can impact patient outcomes.
To access this FREE webcast, enter discount code EW323823 at checkout.
And be sure not to miss…
Yesterday’s post has links to a 20% discount code on all nursing products, a BOGO on books and handbooks, and other activities of interest…
Take advantage of HCPro’s Nursing BOGO event: Buy one nursing book at full price
and get the second one at 50% off* now through May 18, 2015.
To receive the discount on your second book, please enter
discount code EO323822 at checkout.
*50% off lesser or equal value product.
⇒ 5/4: Who inspires you? There’s still time to submit your favorite quotes in posted comments, here.
⇒ 5/6: You can still use the 20% Nurses Week discount offered in this post (though it can’t be used in combination with the BOGO discount).
⇒ 5/8: Enter our 10 question survey here for a chance to win a copy of Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships, by Kathleen Bartholomew.
Our mission is to provide you with essential tools, articles, tips, and books to support your practice… and we want you to tell us what you need. What kind of challenges do you face? What subjects excite you? Please take a few minutes to answer our 10 question survey, and give us your wish list!
To thank you for participating in our Nurses Week survey, you also
have an opportunity to win a copy of Kathleen Bartholomew’s
Team-Building Handbook: Improving Nurse-to-Nurse Relationships.
Just complete the survey between now and midnight on May 27, 2015, and provide your contact information on the last page.
Click on the link below to begin the survey:
All of your answers are confidential and anonymous, and your contact info will only be used to let you know if you won a handbook. If you have questions related to the survey, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
⇒ 5/4: Who inspires you? There’s still time to submit your favorite quotes in posted comments, here.
⇒ 5/6: You can still use the 20% Nurses Week discount offered in this post.
The stories in The Boston Globe annual “Patients Salute Their Nurses” piece offer an inspiring and humbling testament to all the nursing profession can be.
In 400 thank-you letters from grateful patients, family members, and colleagues, Boston’s nurses received personal acknowledgment and messages of love inspired by their deep commitment to the profession and their patients.
Here are snippets from some of my favorite letters:
Diane goes above and beyond, treating me with dignity and respect, even calling me weekly to check on my weight and well-being. Like a friendly drill sergeant, she reminds me to keep my weight down and to pay attention to what I eat.
Joe provided intense, meticulous, and sensitive care not only to Mike, but also to his extended family. Joe’s quiet and steady presence gave us hope and strength when we needed it most. Mike did not make it through the night, but the blow of his passing was softened by the gift of time that Joe made possible.