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Feasibility of a Multi-institution Collaborative to Improve Patient-Nurse Relationship Quality

Duffy, Joanne R. PhD, RN, FAAN; Brewer, Barbara B. PhD, RN, MALS, MBA

Journal of Nursing Administration: February 2011 - Volume 41 - Issue 2 - p 78-83
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0b013e3182059463

Objective: The objective of the study was to assess the feasibility of a multi-institution quality improvement collaborative to improve patient-nurse relationship quality.

Background: Patient-nurse relationships provide the foundation for nursing services and are linked to patient outcomes. Measuring the quality of these relationships is important for ongoing practice changes.

Methods: A prospective evaluation approach was used. Patients from 12 hospitals in 4 distinct areas of the United States comprised the sample.

Results: All 12 hospitals submitted patient data on a quarterly basis, yielding a reliable database for performance improvement. The Caring Assessment Tool (CAT) performed well, and individual hospitals used the results to improve their performance. Inconsistencies in labeling, differing sample sizes, and administrative burden limited the results.

Conclusions: Adult patients were willing to provide feedback about their care during hospitalization and multiple institutions successfully participated in the project. An electronic version of the CAT with real-time analysis would decrease burden and provide more timely and accurate results for actionable practice changes.

Author Affiliation: Professor (Dr Duffy), School of Nursing, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana; Assistant Professor (Dr Brewer), College of Nursing, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona.

Corresponding author: Dr Duffy, Indiana University School of Nursing, 1111 Middle Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46202 (

Funding:This study was supported by the following 12 hospitals: John C. Lincoln North Mountain Hospital, Phoenix, Arizona; Mayo Clinic Arizona, Scottsdale Healthcare both of Scottsdale, Arizona; Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Wake Forest, North Carolina; Baptist Downtown, Baptist Nassau, Baptist South, and Baptist Beaches all part of Baptist Health System of Jacksonville, Florida; Roper St Francis Hospital, Charleston, South Carolina; St Mary's Hospital and Memorial Regional Hospital both of Richmond, Virginia; and St Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, Boise, Idaho.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.