King Fahd Military Medical Complex, Dhahran Hospital improves patient experience, cuts nurse attrition with new initiatives
The facility recognised that uplifting nurses improved patient care.
For establishing innovative programmes that improved nursing practices and enhanced the patient experience at its facility, The King Fahd Military Medical Complex (KFMMC) has been awarded the Patient Care Initiative of the Year - Saudi Arabia and Technology Innovation of the Year - Saudi Arabia prize in the Healthcare Asia Awards 2023.
The awards programme honours hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers that have trailblazed to make a remarkable impact on their patients, especially amidst the massive disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the Gold Standard
KFMMC wanted to enhance its Patient Experience (PX), improve patient outcomes by establishing quality and safety programs, and sustain these gains once realised.
To achieve these goals, the facility intended to apply a multi-faceted approach, interprofessional collaboration (IPC) and follow the Magnet Roadmap to Excellence as outlined in the Magnet Recognition Program (Magnet), the industry gold standard in which nursing leaders align their strategic goals to improve the organisation's patient outcomes.
KFMMC also planned to implement evidence-based strategies to address nursing practices and nurse satisfaction, factors that greatly impact the patient experience.
Strengthening the Patient-Nurse Connection
Under the Patience Experience Enhance Project banner, KFMMC started by auditing and standardising nursing practices. The audit was done based on quarterly Press Ganey’s PX surveys and the NDNQI “Nurse Sensitive Indicator’ data, as well as annual Registered Nurse (RN) Satisfaction surveys. Progress was then measured based on Press Ganey (PG) benchmarks.
Aside from achieving these steps, KFMMC also implemented proactive, nurse-driven, evidence-based interventions dubbed Purposeful Nurse Rounding/White Boards, to help nurses anticipate and address patient needs.
Another new practice established was the evidenced-based Commit to Sit initiative, where RNs would sit with patients during each shift to enhance communication. Research shows that patients prefer feeling safe, receiving quality care and being treated as an individual, versus rather receiving lavish amenities.
Under this initiative, nurses were trained “to structure best practice communications and develop relationship-based care approaches with patients, families, and colleagues” based on the CICARE steps:
C: Connect with people by calling them by their proper names.
I: Introduce yourself.
C: Communicate what you’re going to do and why.
A: Ask permission before every action.
R: Respond to patient questions or requests promptly.
E: Exit courteously and always with an explanation of what will come next.
Service Recovery: Staff implemented this process to swiftly and honestly “recover” dissatisfied patients by identifying and fixing the problems or making amendments using 3As (Acknowledge, Apologize and Amend).
Meanwhile, KFMMC leaders were called to conduct weekly “ Walk Arounds” to meet with staff at the point of care and discuss patient and staff safety issues.
Achievements after Innovations
After meeting the eligibility criteria KFMMC’s Magnet Recognition Application was accepted and now KFMMC is officially on Magnet Journey.
Commit to sit: KFMMC nurses’ were committed to sit with their patients to sit during each shift to positively affect patients’ perception of nurse communication.
The facility also reported lower RN turnover after becoming a member of the DAISY Foundation, which recognises nurses for the extraordinary compassionate, skilful care they provide patients and families, establishing an Annual Nurse Recognition Event, awarding appreciation plaques, and celebrating nurses for their achievements. Seven nurses also were sponsored to attend the ANCC National Magnet Conference in Atlanta, Georgia USA, while ex-patriate RN salaries were raised to be regionally competitive.