The Business Case for Prioritizing Nurse Experience: Boosting Patient Satisfaction in Healthcare and Reducing Costs
Patient satisfaction is a key metric in healthcare. As healthcare providers strive to improve patient satisfaction, one group of professionals, in particular, has a major impact on the experience of patients: nurses.
Nurses are responsible for providing direct patient care and are the first point of contact for many patients in the healthcare system. In fact, reports show that nurses will spend roughly two hours and 25 minutes with their patients during an average nine-hour shift.
With the amount of time they spend caring for patients, it’s no surprise that nurse experience significantly impacts patient satisfaction. Patients who receive positive nursing care are more likely to comply with their medication regimen, have better health outcomes, and have lower readmission rates. With skyrocketing operating costs for hospitals everywhere this correlation between nursing, patient satisfaction and cost reduction is critical, hospital executives take note.
Patients and nurses benefit from a positive nurse experience. By creating a positive work environment, nurses are more likely to be engaged in their work, leading to increased job satisfaction and retention and better patient outcomes.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that prioritizing a positive nurse experience is critical in healthcare. Unfortunately, providing a positive nurse experience has been put on the back burner in recent years, leading to nurse burnout and declining patient experience in.
It’s time to make a change.
Nurse Burnout and Its Effect on Patient Experience in Healthcare
Nurse burnout is a significant issue in healthcare that affects both nurse and patient experience. But, what does it actually mean?
Nurse burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that occurs when nurses are overworked, overwhelmed, and unsupported. The cost of nurse burnout can be significant to patient experience in healthcare.
On the patient side, nurse burnout is commonly associated with worsening safety and quality of care as well as decreased patient satisfaction and nurses’ organizational commitment. Burnt-out nurses are more likely to make errors, leading to increased healthcare costs, patient dissatisfaction, and adverse events.
The key to addressing the issue of nurse burnout in healthcare is reframing burnout as an organizational issue versus the typical individual issue we often categorize it as in the industry. Once we see burnout as an organizational issue, its impact on nurse retention, decreased revenue, and dissatisfied patient experiences become evident.
The Business Case for Prioritizing Nurse Experience
On a national level, the turnover rate for nursing is estimated to be 19.1% and is only expected to increase with the current working conditions most nurses experience on a daily basis. This turnover rate has a significant cost associated with it. A 2019 report from National Healthcare Retention and RN Staffing estimates that replacing one clinical nurse costs between $40,300 and $64,000. This adds up to organizations losing anywhere between $4.4 million and $6.9 million each year based on the average turnover rate.
So, why have organizations been having difficulty retaining nurses?
Numerous factors play a role in nurse burnout and increased turnover rate. Lack of support, insufficient resources, and poor relationships all impact the retention rate of nurses at an organization.
But the good news is that there’s room for improvement with impactful results.
Strategies for Improving Nurse Retention and Avoiding Burnout
Suppose organizations want to see improved nurse and patient experience in healthcare, increased revenue, and increased retention rate of nurses. In that case, it’s crucial to reevaluate the support in place and the culture promoted within the organization.
Below are some of the best strategies for improving nurse retention and fostering a positive patient experience:
Be mindful with recruitment: With the prominence of travel nurses and the constant turnover of nursing staff, implementing a recruitment initiative and positive onboarding experience is critical in helping to increase the retention rate and, in turn, increasing patient satisfaction. One opportunity is to launch a nurse residency program. Nurse residency programs emphasize enhancing clinical skills and boosting confidence among new nurses. Residency programs also foster a collaborative environment among program participants.
Make career development a top priority: While a nurse residency program provides new nurses with leadership and clinical skills, experienced nurses still need and expect support along their career journey. Nurses, like any other profession, want opportunities to advance along their career paths. Whether it’s offering continuing education or training opportunities, promoting development will only help retain your nurses in the long term.
Offer better benefits: One of the main factors affecting the retention of nurses is salary. Not only is salary a major issue, but only 24% of full-time nurses reported being offered bonuses or incentives. Nurses are unsung heroes in the healthcare industry. They dedicate countless hours to caring for others, often sacrificing their time to provide patients with the best care. Therefore, it’s crucial for nurses to be paid appropriately for the work they have put forth and the sacrifices they have made.
Cultivate a positive workplace culture: While paying nurses accordingly is critical, many value a positive working environment just as much as compensation. Fostering a workplace environment that welcomes open communication and positive working conditions allows organizations to build relationships with their nursing staff while also hearing feedback firsthand on how they can improve the workplace.
By implementing strategies to improve nurse experience, organizations will, in turn, will see an increase in nurse retention and improved patient experience in healthcare.
Prioritize Nurse and Patient Experience in Healthcare with BrettonTrova
It’s known that there is a correlation between patient experience and costs in healthcare, and nurses play one of the biggest roles in facilitating a positive patient experience. However, they can’t do it alone. They need support on both the professional and personal levels.
BrettonTrova is an end-to-end healthcare employment service provider that helps health organizations build sustainable staffing models and provides advisory services and educational support to nurses for career growth. With an emphasis on retention and career development, BrettonTrova transcends the typically-transactional staffing model to significantly reduce the impact of turnover and burnout.
Hospitals and home health organizations tap into BrettonTrova’s workforce solutions, including permanent placement, interim staffing, consulting, and recruitment as a service (RaaS) to drive patient satisfaction scores, enhance the nurse experience and increase retention rates.
Provide your nurses with the resources they deserve. Contact us today to get started.