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Implementing a Caring Model to Improve Patient Satisfaction

Dingman, Sharon K. MS, RN; Williams, Mary PhD, RN; Fosbinder, Donna DNSc, RN; Warnick, Myrna MS, RN

JONA: The Journal of Nursing Administration: December 1999 - Volume 29 - Issue 12 - p 30-37
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Objective: To evaluate the effect of implementing a Caring Model on patient satisfaction.

Background: Patient satisfaction has become an important indicator of quality care and financial success of healthcare institutions. Acknowledging the importance of nurse caring behaviors and the impact on patient satisfaction has been relatively recent. Based on a synthesis of the literature, five caring behaviors have been formulated into a model; no single study identified the five selected behaviors included in this study.

Methods: In an acute care setting, eight patient satisfaction attributes were incorporated into a Caring Model. Implementation of the model among nursing staff members included an educational in-service, printing of the behaviors on the name badge, reminders in monthly staff meetings and nursing rounds, and inclusion of the caring behaviors in patient care documentation, job descriptions, and performance appraisals. The impact upon patient satisfaction was compared 6 months' preintervention to 6 months' postintervention.

Results: Postintervention, the patient satisfaction attributes of Nurses Anticipating Needs and Responds to Requests significantly increased. Attributes that began preintervention as immediate priorities for improvement became major strengths postintervention.

Conclusions/Implications: Results of this study provide evidence that nurse caring behaviors can influence patient satisfaction. For a Caring Model to be effective, it must become an integral part of strategic planning and be implemented throughout the entire organization. To sustain the effects of the model, there must be frequent reminders among staff members.

Nurse caring is an important predictor of patient satisfaction. The authors discuss the effect of implementing a caring model on patient satisfaction. In an acute care setting, eight patient satisfaction attributes incorporated into five nurse caring behaviors were evaluated pre- and postintervention. Results of the study indicated the patient satisfaction attributes of Nurses Anticipating Needs and Responds to Requests significantly increased. Attributes that began as immediate priorities for improvement before intervention became major strengths after intervention.

Sharon K. Dingman, MS, RN, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer, e-mail: sharondingman@aol.com, Brigham City Community Hospital,

Mary Williams, PhD, RN, Associate Dean and Associate Professor, e-mail: mary_williams@byu.edu, College of Nursing,

Donna Fosbinder, DNSc, RN, Professor and Coordinator of Health Care Systems Administration, e-mail: donna_fosbinder@byu.edu, College of Nursing,

Myrna Warnick, MS, RN, Associate Clinical Professor, e-mail: myrna_warnick@byu.edu, College of Nursing, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.