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How do We Measure Staff Participation in Using Key Words?

Question

We are in the process of implementing key words at key times to reinforce to patients that we want to give them “very good” service/care. Do you have any suggestions for measuring staff participation in using the key words?

Answer

The ultimate measure of compliance, of course, is the result on your patient satisfaction surveys. Until that time, I suggest that when you round on patients, you say, “As your nurse discussed with you, our goal is to make sure you receive very good care.” Start by focusing on those employees who you hear are using these key words. The others will fall in line. You can also manage up staff. For example, when entering a patient’s room, read on the white board who her nurse is and say, “I see your nurse is Debbie. Debbie has been working on this unit for five years. She is an excellent nurse. Has she discussed our goal of providing you with very good care?”

The last part is to connect the dots for staff on why clear expectations make patients feel more at ease. Of course, this lays the foundation for identifying what very good care looks and feels like to the patient. For example, employees at a hospital in North Carolina say to the patient at the time of admission, “We want to make sure you are satisfied with your care. What are the most important things we need to do to make sure you are very satisfied?” Soon, the results improve, recognition increases, and the Healthcare Flywheel turns even faster.