August 22, 2019
Congratulations to the emergency department at Cache Valley Hospital! The team of 15 nurses and approximately eight primary physicians ranked number one in patient satisfaction scores when compared with survey results from 173 emergency room departments throughout HCA Healthcare. Wow! Top scores linked to consistent focus on compassionate, quality care
The patient satisfaction surveys are distributed to patients after their ER visit and then compiled and analyzed by Press Ganey. Survey questions ask patients for feedback about their communication with nurses and physicians, the hospital environment, and the level of compassionate, quality care they experienced.
At Cache Valley Hospital, the ER team has regularly scored in the top quartile among HCA Healthcare's emergency departments. But it's not the first time! The ER team has ranked number one in patient satisfaction once before; the most recent top-notch ranking is based on 2019 second quarter. The key to their consistent good marks? Staying focused on providing compassionate, quality care.
"It was exciting to see that we were number one in HCA Healthcare," said Stacey Crandall, ER director for Cache Valley Hospital. "It feels like our work paid off. We are consistently meeting our metrics and goals, but more important than anything, we are ensuring great experiences for our patients while keeping them safe. That's always our focus."
Education and expectations: two goals that activated number one results
At the beginning of the year, the ER team devised two goals to concentrate on — and they have diligently maintained their focus on those goals for the past six months:
- To ensure patients are educated about their plan of care during their time in the emergency department.
- To clearly communicate with patients, and what they can expect throughout their care.
For example, if a patient's care plan involves a CT scan, ER nurses make sure they understand why the diagnostic test is needed and what the ER physician will look for. The nurses will also estimate the wait time for the scan, the time required to perform it and get results, and how long it will take to determine the next steps in the patient's care once the results are available.
"We've found that the more our patients know, the more in control they feel, and safer too" Stacey said.
Patient satisfaction: tools for success
To accomplish their goals for patient education and clear communications, the ER team undergoes regular training and scripting practice during staff meetings. Plus, the team learns from one another during an opportunity called, "mission moments."
As Stacey conducts nurse leader rounding, she asks patients how their nurses helped them feel safe or cared about as a person. Then, she shares the patient feedback with the involved staff members one-on-one later that day. Stacey also discusses success stories with the entire team during staff meetings. Over time, these mission-related moments have encouraged and established a patient-centered culture in the department.
A team effort makes the difference
To rank number one in patient satisfactory scores requires a team effort. According to Stacey, every member of the team needs to be on board and motivated to improve the quality of care and the patient experience.
"The biggest thing is: Our team is a team," Stacey said. "They support each other, and truly care about each other as family. They get along and respect each other. They're happy to be here and happy to be working as a team. They genuinely love providing great care to patients in our community."
Well done, Cache Valley ER team! Thank you for your leadership and outstanding efforts!