Nurses' view of workplace safety linked to hospital quality

nurse

A new Press Ganey report highlights the impact of nurses’ perceptions of workplace safety and their ability to assess and accurately treat patients.

Nurse perception of workplace safety and surveillance capacity--which is defined as nurses’ ability to monitor, evaluate and act on their patients’ change in status--were the focus of Press Ganey’s 2016 report, “The Role of Workplace Safety and Surveillance Capacity in Driving Nurse and Patient Outcomes.”

“Effective nursing practice is a critical component for delivering safe, high quality, empathic care for both patients and caregivers,” says Christy Dempsey, chief nursing officer at Press Ganey, in a statement.

Dempsey points out that integrating workplace safety and surveillance programs throughout the healthcare facility improves outcomes measures, while also encouraging a commitment to nursing excellence.

For healthcare facilities where nurses experienced high workplace safety, the report noted:

  • A 52 percent lower of rate of missed care, as perceived by nurses
  • Twenty-seven percent of the nurses at these facilities expressed greater job satisfaction.
  • A 22 percent higher CMS Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating

In addition, hospitals should take heed that there were 26 percent fewer hospital-acquired pressure ulcers at facilities where nurses felt they were better able to respond quickly to their patients’ changing status.

To help improve nurse safety, the report recommends organizations: 

  • Commit to adequate unit staffing that takes into account patient volume, nurse-skill mix and the intensity of care each patient requires
  • Provide and enforce uninterrupted, adequate meal and rest breaks
  • Use patient data to drive scheduling and avoid extended work shifts
  • Develop a stable core of nurse leaders and nurses with leadership potential through training and/or formal programs to develop these skills
  • Hire and retain a high percentage of RNs with a bachelor’s degree or higher and nursing specialty certifications