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How do You Create Buy in for Key Words (i.e., scripting)?


We need better buy in at our facility for key words. How do we show team members the value of this practice?


  • I suggest you not call it scripting but “key words at key times.” Explain to the staff that the purpose is not to get them to change their behavior, but to better explain to patients why they do what they do. Help employees understand that we want patients to know why we do the things we do: to ensure they feel well cared for.
  • Select a question and have your staff come up with what they feel are some key words at key times.
  • Realize that each leader is a role model. Leaders must use these words and relay back to staff the time savings and efficiency gained by using these key words. For example, a housekeeper says before leaving a room, “Is your room clean for you? Did I miss anything?” Not only will patient satisfaction rise, but as call lights decrease, nurses will have more time when they are not called back into the room because housekeeping missed something. Housekeeping benefits by avoiding two trips to the patient’s room. It’s a win-win situation.
  • By focusing on one question at a time, the results will reveal the right key words for that question. Celebrate, then ask staff to select the next question to work on.
  • Finally, I recommend that you consider patient satisfaction survey questions as a way to improve patients’ perception of core clinical competencies. For example, a key question on most surveys is about pain management. Take the opportunity to connect to clinical staff by saying, “This is how the patients perceive we are managing their pain.”