South Florida Hospital News
Sunday September 22, 2019
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May 2008 - Volume 4 - Issue 11

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Setting a Benchmark to Improve Nursing Satisfaction with Support Services

The definition of patient care in today’s hospital environment is transcending the clinical aspects of treating patients to emphasize a more seamless experience. As this perception of care is shifting, so is the composition of the care team.

Today, each element of the continuum, from the physicians to the support service teams, must work together as a collaborative group to achieve the best patient outcomes. Getting to this level will take a bit of work, because over the years traditional silos have challenged the natural progression of a more evolved care team. What we understand is that the patient experience begins with the nurse. ARAMARK Healthcare subscribes to the idea that nurses who are more satisfied with their jobs deliver better patient care resulting in enhanced patient satisfaction.

Since nurses depend on support service functions, and perhaps should depend on them more, ARAMARK Healthcare set out to better understand the key opportunities to improve nursing satisfaction with support service teams. We determined that in order to make meaningful changes to strengthen nursing satisfaction, solid benchmarks were necessary.

Understanding the Relationship

ARAMARK Healthcare, with the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) Institute for Patient Care Research & Education, and the Studer Group, partnered on a joint research project designed to better understand nursing relationships with key support service functions, including: nutrition, housekeeping, facilities management, patient transport, security, supply management and clinical equipment maintenance staff.

The first-of-its-kind study, which surveyed over 1,300 nurses across the United States, identified important gaps between nursing’s expectations of these groups and the current service. These expectations included freeing up time so nurses can do their job; taking personal accountability when tasks are not completed; letting others know when and if there will be a delay in service; and providing adequate number of staff to do the job.

Findings showed that nine key themes are important to nurses when working with support service groups: communication; team work and adaptability; availability and accessibility of staff and resources; timeliness of response; compassion, consideration, positive approach and professionalism; knowledge of the job; proactive behavior; coordination of care; and responsibility and accountability.

Celesia Valentine, Director, ARAMARK Healthcare, has presented the findings to over 26 hospitals and 5 health systems in the Florida region, "Hospital administrators are excited to finally have a tool to evaluate nursing satisfaction. With the study’s feedback, we will be able to make significant changes that will ultimately improve the entire care delivery process."

This research study supports AONE’s strategic goal to improve the workforce environment for nurses in order to increase nurse satisfaction and retention, which are linked to patient safety and quality outcomes. This research was designed to supplement The Guiding Principles for Relationships among Nursing and Support Services in the Clinical Setting, a series of principles driven by AONE and ARAMARK healthcare, developed with input from over 50 nurse executives.

Kathy Black is Vice President of Strategic Development, ARAMARK Healthcare. For more information about the study or ARAMARK Healthcare, visit www.aramarkhealthcare.com.
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