Health Systems and Policy Research

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The impact of Nurse Communication on Patient Satisfaction and Organizational Performance HCAHPS Scores in Acute Care Hospitals in Northern California

Dr. Charmion Patton

In the acute care environment, patient satisfaction and organizational performance metrics highly influence the hospital’s approach to providing care. This focus on the patients’ perspectives and experiences with nurse communication directly correlates to the score a patient gives on the HCAHPS survey, creating a pressure on the nursing leadership and staff to communicate effectively (Spinelli, 2006).  The specific areas of consideration are: Leadership: According to Burns (1978) and Badshah, (2012) leadership is defined as shared process of mobilizing persons with certain motives and values to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers.  Followers follow leaders because of three situational variables i.e. alignment between the leader’s goals (personal and organizational), values and expectations, valid two-way communication between leaders and followers and appropriate sources of leader’s power and influence in the relationship (Gangwar, Padmaja, & Bhar, 2013). Employee Satisfaction: As the landscape of healthcare evolves so does the need for the clinical leader to engage and communicate with the nursing staff and patients to establish effective communication and leadership principles (D'Souza & D'Souza, 2013).   Patient Satisfaction: Effective hourly rounding relieves the uncertainty and anxiety that is often associated with a vulnerable patient’s hospital experience which increases patient satisfaction (Fabry, 2015). Organizational Performance: By determining predictors of high satisfaction scores, hospitals could better focus their efforts on the patient experience to increase the outcomes (Kahn, Iannuzzi, Stassen, Bankey, & Gestring, 2015).

Dr. Charmion Patton has completed her EdD from Grand Canyon University Grand Canyon University College of Doctoral Studies. She is the director of Human Resources, at a non-profit health care organization.