Nurses and other hospital staff have a very clear view of day to day operations and should be considered vital resources for efforts to improve just about anything in the healthcare system they are working in and now there is research to prove it!
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing demonstrates nurses have accurate knowledge about their facility’s quality of care. “For a complete picture of hospital performance, data from nurses is essential,” said lead author Matthew D. McHugh, a public health policy expert at Penn Nursing. “Their assessments of quality are built on more than an isolated encounter or single process — they are developed over time through a series of interactions and direct observations of care.” A quick overview of the study can be found in MedlinePlus’ article on 10/11/12 by Mary Elizabeth Dallas called, Wondering About Your Hospital’s Quality? Ask a Nurse
This study is a vital step that highlights the importance of engaging frontline staff in solutions to problems that plague healthcare systems and towards creating safe, quality, etc care. Thanks Matthew McHugh for leading the work!
Perhaps this will lead to HSAHPS (Hospital Staff Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) surveys. Is this an idea ahead of it’s time or one way overdue? Questions like these along with an anonymous process would give consumers and healthcare professionals valuable information about the culture of care at a particular hospital:
Do you have enough time to provide care according to policies, procedures, and professional standards?
Does your unit work as a collaborative team?
Is your input on change initiatives that impact your work utilized?
Do you regularly take meal and rest breaks?
When you ask for help, is help available?
Are you available to help others when requested?
Is there an atmosphere of respectful communication in the culture?
Do you receive training on new procedures/equipment in a timely manner.
Staff statistics from human resources data on staff turnover, education, and work experience would help to disclose more information helpful in gauging overall quality of care.