Improve HCAHPS Scores by Investing in Your Nursing Staff

Guest Contributorby Brittney Wilson | Posted | Learning

Improve HCAHPS Scores by Investing in Your Nursing Staff

Nurses and other hospital workers are in the healthcare field because they want to make a positive difference in the lives of others. Yet many facilities find staff struggling to understand and consistently meet the HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) standards.

HCAHPS scores measures an area of patient care that many facilities find difficult to master: patient satisfaction. After all, an excellent hospital experience to one patient could be a terrible hospital experience to another. So how do nurses and nursing administrators ensure that patients have a positive experience?

Research suggests that a cost-effective method to increase HCAHPS scores is by using talent management processes to focus on education and competencies from day one. With effective talent management processes and tools, you can ensure your staff have purpose-driven goals and develop the knowledge and competencies they need to improve HCAHPS scores.

Here's a look at why.

Invest in your staff to drive employee retention and patient satisfaction!

In order for patients to receive the best care possible your staff must have the tools available to provide excellent care. These tools include thorough training on new evidence-based practices, innovations in healthcare, clinical competencies, and regulatory requirements (one of them being HCAHPS surveys). 

Organizations need to spend the time and money required to ensure that staff are competent and have access to the tools they need to continue learning and growing professionally. This will not only increase your HCAHPS scores, it will improve employee retention.

The most satisfied staff are those who have access to the information they want and need to deliver high-quality patient care. The more you invest in talent management and developing your employees, the more successful they'll be.

Provide education and training for the long haul

At many hospitals the onboarding process is an assignment with a preceptor and a paper list of requirements that a nurse must complete before he or she can work on his/her own.

Once the list is completed it’s never looked at again. And after their checklist is complete and they're released from their preceptor, the only new opportunities to learn new skills and information come on the job.

While many nurses swear by this model, it's unfortunate that as a result, patients have to be the guinea pigs for nurses who are inexperienced with new procedures or standards. 

Education and training for nurses shouldn't end 8 weeks after their start date. It shouldn’t be a cut and dry process of check boxes and mandatory minimums.

Nurses need ongoing opportunities to learn a wide variety of information and practices. They need the ability to study new procedures and regulatory requirements before putting them into practice and they need to be provided with the tools to do so.

The best way to do this is through a combination of online learning and hands on training that is tracked and reportable. And the best way to ensure they get that is through regular performance reviews that include both professional and career development planning.

This is where hospitals can step up to the plate and do what’s best for their staff and the patients they serve.

Investing in nursing staff and providing ongoing learning opportunities is an excellent way to ensure that you have a well-trained nursing staff that is eager to aide in the success of your healthcare organization.

Training on HCAHPS scoring and patient satisfaction triggers is really only scratching the surface of the knowledge areas that can benefit nursing staff. Nurses should have opportunities to develop so they improve the care they provide and grow their career.

Reap the benefits and improve your HCAHPS scores

Highly engaged nurses are happier with their jobs and therefore better performers. They are more considerate of patient’s needs and provide excellent customer service.

Investing in the skills of your nursing staff on an ongoing basis not only ensures that procedures will be performed correctly, it can also provide a boost to morale and a positive attitude that can help a patient to feel more at ease with their care and ultimately answer HCAHPS surveys positively.

Your Turn: How do you help your nurses drive up patient satisfaction?

Talent Management for Healthcare

Learn how talent management is critical for improving patient satisfaction and quality of care.


Read Now
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Talent Management for Healthcare

Learn how talent management is critical for improving patient satisfaction and quality of care.


Read Now


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