Five Areas of Focus to Improve Patient Safety and Satisfaction

by Annette Hutchins, Senior Director, Medical Surgical Specialist Team

Achieving patient-centered excellence and ensuring clinicians have the tools and support necessary to deliver evidence-based care consistently and safely, is a major objective for any healthcare organization. What are some of the important areas facilities are focusing on to help them along the journey to patient safety?

Infection Prevention

The movement toward greater transparency and accountability for healthcare-associated infection (HAI) reduction is a pressure point for all facility types. Historically, providers have struggled with the challenges and complexities of HAIs, but now acute care facilities face federal reimbursement consequences if they do not meet heightened quality expectations and benchmark progress. Similar consequences for non-acute care facilities is inevitable.

Fall Reduction

It’s been eight years since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) stopped reimbursing hospitals for treatment related to patient falls. Nevertheless, falls remain one of the most frustrating patient-safety problems facing healthcare – perhaps because many providers still have the ‘falls is inevitable’ mindset. In truth, falls can be prevented and there are countless best practices and resources available to dispel this belief.

Pain Management

One of the essential aspects of delivering quality patient care is pain management. Yet, effectively controlling pain continues to be a challenge for many healthcare providers. It is important to manage pain using appropriate medication doses and individualized patient care plans. Being able to integrate current knowledge and best practice protocols of effective pain management can result in improved patient outcomes and increased patient satisfaction.

Hand Hygiene Compliance

Hands are the main pathways of germ transmission. Clean hands are the single most important factor in preventing the spread of pathogens and antibiotic resistance in healthcare settings. Hand hygiene should always be a key area of focus for any facility. Take steps to monitor compliance rates and communicate the results with staff to help guide improvement strategies.

Noise Reduction

One of the biggest hits a facility can take to its patient satisfaction scores relates to sound – too much, too loud, too disconcerting (alarms), etc. What’s surprising is the price to fix a noisy environment can be relatively low. The hurdle for many facilities is the continued diligence and vigilance it takes to maintain a quiet, healing environment.

Review our patient safety and satisfaction resource page for more details.

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