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Nursing Management for Patient Satisfaction

Nursing is a challenging profession. It requires professionals with good knowledge, a variety of skills and personal qualities. Some characteristics include excellent communication skills, intelligence, ability to work in teams and sense of responsibility. Nurse’s responsibilities go way beyond assessing patient’s health and performing medical exams. A nurse has to establish a trusting relationship with a patient, ensure his satisfaction and continuously improve the quality of nursing care. Patient satisfaction is a causal factor in the quality of healthcare. Currently, it is considered to be a typical issue in health care institutions.

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This paper will discuss and examine the issues of quality improvement and patient satisfaction, compare nursing leaders’ and managers’ approaches to solving these problems as well as provide a personal approach to the mentioned issues.

Quality Improvement and Patient Satisfaction

Client service can be challenging in any business. However, in health care patient satisfaction is particularly challenging for a variety of reasons. Among many other variables, the measurement of quality of care highly depends on patient satisfaction which is evaluated via a national Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. The survey contains questions about patient’s stay experience in a hospital, interaction with hospital staff and treatment.

Because most questions in the survey are related to nurse’s performance, a lot of pressure is put on nurses as ratings can directly influence the revenue of a health care facility. According to Negarandeh, Bahabadi and Mamaghani (2014), the satisfaction with nursing care is defined as “the most important index in predicting patient satisfaction with the overall provided care” (282). Nowadays, many health care leaders fail to implement effective strategies to solve this problem. Effective communication can influence patient satisfaction, patient safety, patient engagement, efficient use of technological innovations and more (Berkowitz, 2016).

A substantial body of research suggests that employee engagement and satisfaction leads to satisfied patients (Hewison, Gale, Yeats, & Shapiro, 2013). Indeed, if a nurse is positive and motivated at work, patients will feel more confident and trust their expertise. On the other hand, recent research found that the level of employee satisfaction, such as salary, professional development, and educational opportunities, did not correlate with patient satisfaction (Janicijevic, Seke, Djokovic, & Filipovic, 2013).

It means that health workers have to be passionate about their job in the first place. However, this aspect is less measurable and reliable. Enhancing of communication skills is suggested to increase the level of patient satisfaction. Because patients often lack the ability to understand complicated medical language or instructions can significantly impact their satisfaction. Therefore, health professionals have to choose appropriate vocabulary, take into account cultural differences of a patient and ensure that the delivered information is correctly understood (Kusiak, 2016). Also, Negarandeh et al. found that frequent conduction of nursing rounds can increase the level of patient satisfaction (2014).

Thus, it is vital for a nurse to have good communication skills, be satisfied with working conditions and opportunities, engage with patients and effectively use technology to guarantee a high level of patient satisfaction.

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Comparison of Leadership and Management Approach to the Issue

Nursing management implies a great responsibility as it often involves decision-making process. A manager has to distribute the workload and monitor the personnel as well as control other administrative tasks, such as provide feedback, hire medical staff, develop a budget and much more. Above all, a manager is in charge of a nurse’s inadequately executed job. As it was mentioned previously, a performance of a nurse is directly linked with patient satisfaction and can harm the overall rating of a hospital. Therefore, a manager should use all available resources to promote productiveness and efficiency of a nurse.

Following the participative management theory, managers should express expectations clearly, encourage a nurse to stay motivated and active; engage in the working process; make sure a nurse has adequate training, sufficient knowledge, and enhanced communication skills for effective interaction with patients. The authoritarian or autocratic approach is not recommended because it would not allow space for communication among colleagues, contributed to conflict with employees and lowered their productivity (Cox, 2016).

Nursing leadership is completely different from managing. Nurses look up to managers for guidance, advice and directions at work. However, in the nursing profession, there is a high probability of the emergence of various risky situations that require distinct leadership skills. As stated in the situational theory of leadership, the best leader can adapt to a given situation and is capable of making rational decisions.

This approach could be used because it allows a nurse to think differently and come up with unexpected and creative solutions to an issue. In their systematic review, Wong, Cummings & Ducharme (2013) concluded that relational leadership styles improved patient satisfaction; they also influenced personnel engagement, provided support and transparent, efficient communication. Relational leadership in its turn implies a capability to effectively maintain relationships with colleagues, patients, families etc. (Cathcart, 2014). Thus, nurses could use relational leadership approach by learning to create and sustain positive relationships with the surrounding community, and situational leadership skills to effectively address the aroused situation.

Personal Approach

Personally, I would choose a relational style of leadership. I think an essential feature of a leader is the ability to motivate others and make people follow your worldview. That would be impossible if a person did not interact with other individuals in the community and established trustful relationships. People are social beings; evolutionally we cannot survive by ourselves, we need to cooperate with other people.

Therefore, the ability to connect with others and work in teams is critical in the nursing profession. From my personal experience, I disliked autocratic management style because my productivity and motivation significantly decreased. I find myself confident when working in teams, as it creates friendly, supporting environment for work. As for increasing patient satisfaction, I think comprehensive communication is the key factor. Patients need to have enough information delivered about what treatment they are receiving, and how it works to improve their health.

Conclusion

Patient satisfaction is integral to nursing care. It can decrease not only a number of patients but influence the revenue of a hospital as a whole. Therefore, patient satisfaction issues have to be addressed both by managers and nurses. It was found that using relational leadership approach correlated with improved patient satisfaction. However, this approach can be combined with participative management style and situational leadership simultaneously since these methods do not interfere one with another. I believe that to deal with patient satisfaction issues a nurse should be flexible and transparent at work, have good leadership skills, be a confident team player, have excellent communication skills and last but not least, have a real passion for this profession.

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References

Berkowitz, B. (2016). The patient experience and patient satisfaction: Measurement of a complex dynamic. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(1).

Cathcart, E.B. (2014). Relational work: At the core of leadership. Nursing Management, 45(3), 44-46. Web.

Cox, J.A. (2016). Leadership and management roles: Challenges and success strategies. Association of periOperative Registered Nurses Journal, 104(2), 154 – 160.

Hewison, A., Gale, N., Yeats, R., & Shapiro, J. (2013). An evaluation of staff engagement programs in four national health service acute trusts. Journal of Health Organization and Management, 27(1), 85-105.

Janicijevic, I., Seke, K., Djokovic, A., & Filipovic, T. (2013). Healthcare workers satisfaction and patient satisfaction – Where is the linkage? Hippokratia, 17(2), 157–162.

Kusiak, P. A. (2016). Improvement of patient satisfaction through enhancement of RN communication skills: A quality improvement project. Web.

Negarandeh, R., Bahabadi, A.H., & Mamaghani, J.A. (2014). Impact of regular nursing rounds on patient satisfaction with nursing care. Asian Nursing Research, 8, 282-285.

Wong, C.A., Cummings, G.G. & Ducharme, L. (2013). The relationship between nursing leadership and patient outcomes: A systematic review update. Journal of Nursing Management, 21 (5), 709–724.

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