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5 Tips to Improving Patient Care and Outcomes as a Nurse

  • Do you know what most healthcare professions have in common? They are patient-oriented.  
  • However, in times like this, with understaffed facilities and overworked employees, it is evident that most professionals cannot allocate the same amount of one-on-one time with patients as they used to.
  • No matter your position, there are always things you can do to work toward improving patient care as a nurse. Let’s get into it! 

NCC News & Content Team

October 22, 2021
Simmons University

Tip #1 Evaluate Your Patient Education Delivery: Is There More You Could Say or Do?

We’re sure you’ve heard the saying, “knowledge is power.”  

It is very true, and it is applicable in healthcare, too. 

Patient education is everything and must be a priority when improving patient care.

If your patient does not leave the facility knowing what their potential health risks are of their condition or if they do not follow the treatment plan, then why would they bother to comply or follow it? This is something you must outline. 

There are direct connections between thorough patient education and positive outcomes. 

Tip #2 Individualize Your Patient Experiences and Care Plans

Not every patient you meet is going to have the same wishes and desires with their treatment plan; this is a given.  

We are all different, and accepting this, as a healthcare professional, is essential in having a successful career. 

Individualized patient care plans will not only show the patient that you are respecting their wishes, but also that you are going the extra mile to ensure that they are taken care of.  

 nurse consulting with elderly patient

Tip #3: Utilize Therapeutic Communication

When you’re seeing 20 plus patients a day, it is easy to get caught in a routine where you are less focused on connecting with the patient. One example of where we may tend to lose touch is how we communicate with patients.    

Have you caught yourself saying things like, “I need to get your blood pressure,” or “It looks fine?”  

It is okay if you have, we have all been there. However, we must understand the power that our words have and begin using uplifting, energizing, and comforting words when delivering care. 

The utilization of therapeutic communication in nursing has been proven to have many benefits in the clinical setting; from increasing diagnostic accuracy to strengthening collaborative care and treatment plan decision-making with patients. 

A perfect example of utilizing therapeutic communication would be rather than saying your patient’s BP ‘looks fine,’ try using phrases such as, “Your BP is 135/75, that is great!”  

Not only does this promote comfort before the patient interacts with the physician, but it implies that you genuinely care about their vitals.  

Truly, there are no cons to this form of communication, and if applied correctly, it can be a major contributing factor in improving patient care.  

Tip #4: Strengthening Interprofessional Collaboration Among Staff

As you can imagine, if everyone on the healthcare team is not on the same page with a patient’s protocol, the implications could be fatal.  

Online nursing community for NCLEX-RN test prep and professional development, The Nurse Speak, offers several suggestions as to how you can strengthen your interprofessional collaboration in your unit or facility, check them out: 

  1. Improving communication practices 
  2. Increasing mutual respect and trust among all members of the healthcare team 
  3. Creating a culture that supports equal power and autonomy 
  4. Incorporating more resource personnel to help cover patient needs 
  5. Holding nurse leaders and administrators accountable 

Tip #5: Reviewing Your Facility’s Publicly Reported HCAHPS Results and Pursue Potential Improvements

Do you ever check a restaurant’s reviews before visiting? Or perhaps check the product reviews before making a purchase? 

As humans in this day and age, we often find ourselves doing this before we dedicate any time or money to something – in some cases, this is no different for a healthcare facility.  

Prospective patients or employees have access to public, quarterly reports from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey.  

In short, this survey evaluates patient perspectives regarding the quality of care that was delivered to them up until discharge. It covers various subjects, including 

  • Communication with doctors and nurses 
  • Responsiveness of hospital staff 
  • Cleanliness of the hospital environment 
  • Quietness of the hospital environment 
  • Pain management 
  • Communication about medicines and discharge information 
  • Overall rating of hospital 
  • Recommendation of hospital

Of course, not all these topics are something you can improve on an individual scale.  

However, if there are points that you believe can be worked on, try discussing them with your superior or an administrator!  

Your voice is more powerful than you think and change will not happen if you do not try! 

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