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NY nurse executives focus on positivity

Monday October 21, 2013
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The Greater New York Nassau Suffolk Organization of Nurse Executives kicked off its first autumn event Sept. 25 at South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside, N.Y.

“Our goal is to distribute our meetings so that members from the various areas we serve get an opportunity to network. Our membership has increased as we strive to mentor and encourage expansion of our goals to nurses within the Greater New York, Nassau and Suffolk areas,” said the organization’s president, Margaret Jackson, RN, MA, assistant vice president and CNO, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, N.Y., and University Hospital of Brooklyn.

Featured speaker Alan Cooper, PhD, MBA, chief people and performance officer at White Plains (N.Y.) Hospital, discussed “Proven Strategies for Enhancing the Patient Experience and Increasing your HCAHPS Scores,” after nurse attendees spent time networking with one another.

With more than 15 years of experience in the field, Cooper discussed the importance of an organization building what he calls a “patient-centered patient experience.” With a PCPE, an organization possesses strong unit and organizational leadership that promote a service culture tied to operations and finance; effective partnerships with patients and families; an engaged and satisfied workforce; and a strong performance improvement focus, according to Cooper.

The PCPE process is data driven and staff should have access to and understand their unit’s patient satisfaction data, said Cooper, but it is crucial that they recognize it as a people process.

Key to the success of a PCPE culture is employee accountability of and ownership for the process.

“The drivers of human satisfaction — which are trust, respect, inclusiveness, communication and value — are what we must develop our overall organizational strategy around when fostering a patient-centered patient experience,” said Cooper, who emphasized that rounding and follow-up phone calls are two examples of good tactics in supporting human satisfaction, when done correctly.
Cooper highlighted the fact that hospital services cannot be equated to hotel services because “our patients have real physical and emotional needs and experience pain and suffering, disability and anxiety. Creating a positive patient experience is hard work every day.”

Without some service basics, however, we cannot develop an exceptional patient experience, he said, and gave examples of them, which included good eye contact, greeting patients and knocking on their doors before entering patients’ rooms; keeping patients and families informed; strong communication among caregivers; and introducing and explaining the purpose for being in the patient’s room. Cooper discussed the importance of management living and leading in the PCPE culture, of staff members being engaged in designing PCPE processes and celebrating in their successes, and for everyone getting involved in evaluating and improving the processes.

“We know that when we create positive patient experiences, our patients are more compliant with their plans of care and they become easier for us to take care of because their needs are being met,” Cooper said. “We know what needs to be done, and now we need to ‘just do it.’”

Janice Petrella Lynch, RN, MSN, is nurse editor/nurse executive.


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