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Improving the patient experience: a quiet time campaign
Hospitals can be noisy because patients are being monitored 24 hours a day. Hospital staffs are constantly in-and-out of patient rooms checking vitals, drawing blood, or checking-in on the patient's well-being; consequently, the patient's sleep is at risk of being interrupted. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has addressed quality issues, such as noise, by withholding 30% of Medicare payments owed to hospitals and then reimbursing the amount based on achievements or improvements made within four performance measures (CMS, 2016, 2017d). The performance measure of focus for this study was the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey. As health care has shifted to patient centered care, quiet time campaigns (QTCs) have become of interest to health care administrators nationwide because QTCs aim to reduce noise and improve quality of care. The purpose of this research was to contribute to the pool of literature that looks at how QTCs affect HCAHPS survey scores. This was achieved by conducting a case study that involved implementing a QTC on a Medical/Surgical/Oncology Unit and analyzing HCAHPS survey scores pertaining to survey question nine, "During this hospital stay, how often was the area around your room quiet at night" (HCAHPS, 2018). The results of this study conclude that a QTC can reduce noise levels to meet best practice noise levels of 40 decibels; however, HCAHPS scores may not reflect those best practices.
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