Unlocking the Subconscious to Improve the Patient Experience


Poster Presentation

Purpose for the Program

This presentation will describe our intervention model in women's services, which resulted in our dramatic improvement in the “would recommend” category of the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey from an overall score of the 74th percentile in 2009 to the 92nd percentile in 2011 as reported by NRC Picker.

Proposed Change

Frustration mounts when nurses provide exceptional care, going above and beyond to meet their patients every need, yet those patients do not perceive the care they received as exceeding their expectations. We struggled to discover why we were not achieving the scores to reflect the care we believed we were providing. We discovered the disconnect between mothers’ cultural expectations of how to be cared for and the culture of caring that exists in hospitals. By understanding and aligning the subconscious drivers of both cultures, we developed an interventional model based on the archetype of Mother's Guidance that considerably changed our approach to expectant mothers as they enter the unit (welcome), during their stay (care), and their transition and discharge to home (goodbye).

Implementation, Outcomes, and Evaluation

Staff were educated on the subconscious beliefs our patients have that affect their expectations of care. Our approach to how we care for patients was changed to align with these expectations and to activate their emotional triggers to influence their perception of a positive experience. An intervention and coaching-to-sustainability model was designed to improve patient satisfaction. Continued patient feedback was provided to sustain new care model, improve patient satisfaction scores, and ignite nursing passion for providing excellent care. Patient satisfaction scores steadily increased, initially in the nursing Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems scores, and accordingly in the “would recommend” category and the overall rating of their stay. Not only have we sustained these scores, they have continued to increase throughout 2011. Staff and management continue to analyze patient comments and scores for continued improvement.

Implications for Nursing Practice

We changed the way we deliver care, adding new processes and modifying others. These changes have led to increased patient satisfaction, as well as increased nurse satisfaction and renewed professional commitment.