Nurses have many job responsibilities, but the most important is always direct patient care. In fact, most of a nurse’s tasks are focused on giving the patient the best care possible, even if those tasks are administrative, such as keeping an accurate chart. Often, the furthest thing from a nurse’s mind is the business of running the hospital and the financial bottom line. Nurses are usually so immersed in the clinical aspects of their jobs that they cannot focus on much else. However, pausing to consider the hospital’s financial picture is worth the time. Nurses influence their patients’ satisfaction with the care they receive and the overall patient experience. Therefore, nurses have a direct impact on the finances of a hospital.
Connection Between Patient Satisfaction and Financial Health
The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions issued a study on patient satisfaction and the financial health of hospitals to see if the two correlate. The method they used to gauge patient satisfaction and experience was the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores. The financial aspects studied included return on assets (ROA), as well as net and operating margins. As the study revealed, there is a connection between patient satisfaction and hospital financials. Hospitals with patients who were satisfied with their experience had healthier financial numbers.
Nurses’ Role in Hospitals’ Financial Success
Patients are more likely to return to a hospital where they had an excellent patient experience. They are also more likely to refer their family and friends. Word of mouth is one of the best ways a community can learn about local hospitals. A hospital with a good reputation in the area is more likely to attract patients than others that may not have the best ratings. A hospital with excellent medical care, satisfied patients and sound finances may become renowned nationally or even internationally, adding to the number of patients who seek care there. A good reputation and the increase in patient loyalty help the hospital do well financially through increased billing for patient services.
The Nurse’s Role in Patient Satisfaction
Nurses can contribute to increased patient satisfaction in a number of ways, which in turn leads to greater profitability for the hospital where they work. A number of aspects form the basis of patient satisfaction scores, from the level of nighttime noise to the cleanliness of rooms and communication skills of nurses. The most competent nurses are especially mindful of meeting patients’ needs.
Nurses can also make sure they practice excellent communication with their patients. Notably, one of the most significant aspects of the patient experience that affects satisfaction scores is nurse-patient communication. Thus, nurses play a pivotal role in determining how patients feel about their overall experience at the hospital.
Time spent considering a hospital’s financial health, in addition to the health of the hospital’s patients and the patient experience, is time well spent. It is important for nurses to be mindful of the hospital bottom line and their essential role in helping the hospital thrive financially. After all, if a hospital goes out of business, nurses lose jobs.
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