Magnet Moment: DCMH Telemetry Unit Council Initiative Improves Patient Satisfaction
Last summer, the 5 Telemetry Unit Council at Delaware County Memorial Hospital was grappling with a dilemma. The unit’s Press Ganey scores were consistently low for family accommodations and comfort for visitors/personal issues, so they began an initiative to improve them.
First, they identified the barriers to patient satisfaction:
- The unit had no areas for families to gather or meet with the physician or ancillary nursing staff such as Social Work, Case Management, Hospice and others. As a result, patient care discussions were often held in crowded and busy hallways, raising concerns about HIPAA compliance.
- No bathroom facilities were available for families on the unit. As a result, family members often used the patient bathroom.
- Families remained in the patients’ rooms while nurses were tending to their needs because the unit had no family waiting area. This was particularly difficult when nurses were helping newly admitted patients to get settled in their rooms.
After careful consideration, the unit council proposed transitioning one patient room to a “family/visitor room.” The council determined that this busy unit could still be maintained at 24 beds, an important consideration, by acquiring a room from the Telemetry East extended unit during times of full census. In addition, the new family/visitor room was designed for quick and easy turnover to a patient room if needed, and the nursing staff agreed to handle the turnover. “Turnover can be completed in a half hour,” says Mary Agnes Boyle, RN, BSN, nurse manager of Telemetry. The unit council selected the room to be converted based on its convenient central location on the unit, proximity to the elevator and private bathroom facilities.
In addition, the council initiated and funded a “recovery box” with items such as parking passes, lunch passes and movie tickets to be given to family members who have experienced difficulties while their loved one was receiving care.
Since the family/visitor room opened in September 2008, patient satisfaction in this area has improved significantly. “We are no longer getting negative comments on Press Ganey,” says Boyle. “In addition, families personally thank us for making the room available to them. Our staff says that the room has really helped to ease congestion in the hallway, which makes their jobs easier. Social workers and case managers are gratified to have a private place to discuss patient issues with families. The family/visitor room has been a win-win for everyone involved.”
5 Telemetry Unit Council
Linda Clay, RN, Co-Chair
Patricia Costa, RN, Co-Chair
Evie Cessant, RN
Jessica Couts, RN
Sue Dunderdale, LPN
Kristie Green, RN
Deb Maguire, RN
Barb Woodard, LPN