Communication on Medications Effects HCAHPS Scores and Patient Safety

How we communicate with our patients
on medications is important not only to our patient experience score on
the H-CAPS survey, but it’s important to patient safety. ♪ [music] ♪ The two questions the H-CAP survey asks
with regards to communicating on medications is, “How often did the
hospital staff explain the purpose of the medication?” and “How often did the
hospital staff explain the side effects in a way that the patient could understand?” And recent surveys show that there is a
big disconnect between the education happening and what our patients are
learning. A survey of patients at discharge showed that when they went home,
a third of the patients did not know the purpose of their medications. And 86% of
them did not know the side effects of their medications. That is a problem. So
how do we tackle it? It’s with patient education. And the main process we need to
have in patient education is when we administer those medications. A good key
idea is just to slow down. Take the time to where if the patient has
a question, they have time to ask it and you have time to answer it. It’s such
a quick process delivering those medications, trying to get through them.
What we need to do is take time when we have that moment with them,
to make sure that they understand. To make sure our patients are well
educated on their medication, we need a process, a process that is
used for every patient, every time. This process consists of four main pieces.
The name of the medication, the dosage, the purpose of the medication,
and any side effects that go along with that medication. And these are things that
can seem extremely repetitive to staff members. When we walk into a patient’s
room and you give three medications, it seems incredibly repetitive to say the
name, dosage, purpose, and side effects of each medication, but that’s what has to
happen. Because the question doesn’t say, “Did the staff member every once in a
while give those key points for medication?” It’s “how often,” and the
answer we want is “always” for every patient, every time. The staff
members need to say the name, dosage, purpose, and side effects. In
fact, if your patients by the end of their stay can repeat it back to the caregiver,
you can be sure that on their survey they’re going to circle “always.” In our
next video we’ll be talking about pain management and how we can actively
engage the patient and their family in this process.