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Indirect Clinical Project: Quality Improvement

Healthcare has become a consumer driven industry with patient satisfaction equating to good customer service. Effective communication has been shown to be a key factor in both patient outcomes and satisfaction. Additionally, patient satisfaction has become a tool used by insurers to evaluate medical facilities and may impact reimbursement to hospitals for patient care. In this paper, I will discuss the issue of ineffective communication in the waiting area of the surgical services department at Mount Carmel East Hospital. The impact of ineffective communication effects patients and members of the perioperative team. Results of patient surveys consistently showed a decrease in overall patient satisfaction with areas of communication scoring the lowest across the continuum. Substandard scores necessitated a further look at the process of communication and a root cause analysis was used to evaluate the scope of the issue. The current communication process was then observed and compared to best practice models. A summary of this data, included in this report, was used to develop possible solutions to improve communication as part of a continuing quality improvement process. The impact of quality improvement is instrumental in overall patient satisfaction and customer service.

Indirect Clinical Project: Quality Improvement
The purpose of the Indirect Clinical Project (ICP) is to provide an opportunity for students working toward a Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) to use critical thinking and problem solving skills to explore an issue related to their professional interest. BSN students were asked to work with Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) preceptor in a professional role for this project. My ICP is designed to address the issue of ineffective communication in the waiting are of the surgical services department at Mount Carmel East Hospital. I choose this particular problem as it related to my current area of practice in the post anesthesia care unit. The problem of ineffective communication in the surgery waiting room has been a longstanding issue. This is evidenced by substandard patient survey scores in areas related to communication and overall satisfaction with the surgical waiting area. In this paper, I will establish the framework for the problem of ineffective communication and how this translates into the quality improvement process. For this project a root cause analysis was done and the results were then used to develop a process improvement plan. A comparison was made between current practice and best practice related to perioperative communication. As the problem was analyzed and areas in need of improvement recognized, the process improvement plan was developed. The benefits and drawbacks of the possible solutions will be present along with rationales. PROBLEM

Mount Carmel East (MCE) has had numerous complaints regarding ineffective communication within the surgical services waiting area. Complaints typically are related to patients and families not being informed of delays and/or updates. Currently a small number of volunteers are functioning as the surgical liaison for patients and families throughout the surgical care process. The liaison is responsible for facilitating communication to patients, families, nursing staff and surgeons. The task of being a liaison for patients in the perioperative setting can be daunting with many demands that present a variety of challenges. While these volunteers do not provide medical information, they are expected to understand the surgical schedule and perioperative process. No formal training for these duties is provided and volunteers are expected to convey appropriate information in a timely manner. Despite the placement of volunteer liaisons, complaints from patients and families not being informed of delays and updates continue to be received....
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