As hospitals across the United States compete to promote patient-centered care, a new study by Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that simple steps such as proactive nursing rounds are among a handful of best practices that are most likely to give patients a positive hospital experience.
The study, published in the August issue of the journal Medical Care, was based on 52 responses to questionnaires and letters sent to CEOs and medical personnel of top-ranked or most improved hospitals for patient experience.
Patient-centered care includes everything from safer and timelier care to patient satisfaction with the level of attention and amenities.
"It's not just about getting the physicians involved, or the nurses," said lead study author Hanan Aboumatar, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a member of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, in a statement. "Everyone involved at the hospital, all the way up to top leadership, has to place a high priority on the needs of patients and their families."
High-performing hospitals leaders and clinicians used a set of patient-centered care processes to ensure that they addressed patient needs and preferences, according to the abstract of the study, The most common methods included:
- Proactive nursing rounds (83 percent of hospitals)
- Executive/leader rounds (62 percent)
- Multi-disciplinary rounds prior to discharge (56 percent)
- Postdischarge calls (54 percent)
- Discharge folders (52 percent)
The Johns Hopkins team concluded in their findings that medical staff members and leaders at hospitals that already ranked high on patient experiences of care shared a devotion to consistency, personal and focused interactions with patients, and a culture that demands involvement of all levels of caregivers and services.
Meanwhile, as hospital leaders strive to engage patients and their families and improve the organization's overall experience, some have found that the people who are most effective at achieving these goals are not staff or healthcare providers at all, FierceHealthcare reported in May. For example, Mercy Medical Center and UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Hospital, both located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, have long relied on volunteers to keep their facilities running smoothly and to act as support systems for patients.
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