In several VA Health Care System Hospitals (VAHCS), Veterans admitted to the hospital are invited by Health Unit Coordinators (HUCs) to provide real-time feedback on day two of admission. Patients are also rounded on by nursing leaders during their stay to ensure patient needs are being met and that nursing care processes are being followed. These proactive rounds—by both VAHCS leadership and staff—provide a means to hear, directly from Veterans and families, what is going well and where opportunities are for improvement.

Singled Out for Recognition

One of the questions asked during these proactive rounds is if there are any staff that deserve special recognition for their care and service.  Voice of the Veteran comments are captured, using TruthPoint and disseminated weekly to nursing leaders through “Kudos Reports.” The recognition comments included on TruthPoint Kudos Reports are regularly shared with staff to recognize excellence in patient care and service.  These kudos are one of several “On-Purpose Reports” provided to the clinical team to support specific strategies to improve staff engagement, patient experience and care quality.

“The Kudos Reports I receive from TruthPoint have been a very positive influence on my unit” says the Nurse Manager for the Medical/Surgical unit. “The Kudos Report helps me to recognize my nursing team and creates a means for nursing staff to recognize each other. It has also created a healthy competition between nurses who are looking to be unit leaders in patient recognitions.”

A Positive Impact on Employee Engagement

For one particular nurse, the Kudos Report was instrumental in changing her perception of what matters most to patients and her approach to patient care delivery. Because she was primarily hearing negative feedback about her performance, she became somewhat resistant to constructive feedback from her manager. This resistance to feedback started to change as more positive patient feedback was being shared on the nursing unit by the nurse manager. Because patient compliments on the Kudos Report were regularly and openly shared each week, this nurse heard first-hand what matters most. Nurses realized it was the compassionate way in which care was delivered that left a lasting impression.

Ultimately, the more positive comments she received, the more her demeanor improved and the more open she became to one-on-one interactions with her manager. This nurse benefited from being recognized for her service to patients. Veterans benefited from receiving care from a more compassionate and pleasant bedside nurse. Finally, the nurse manager benefited from improved relations with her nurse and reduced patient complaints.

Real Benefits Through Kudos Reports

A number of additional benefits were also achieved through proactive leadership rounding and the use of TruthPoint’s Kudos Reports. They include:

The nurse manager interviewed cited a 75% reduction in complaint load since proactive nurse and HUC rounding was initiated.

  • Health Unit Coordinators, through their regular rounds on patients, were more actively involved in improving patient care and service which improved job satisfaction.
  • Nurses were being recognized more often for excellence in patient care and service.
  • Nursing staff who wanted to be named in the TruthPoint Kudos Reports were motivated to keep the patient communication board updated with their names.

Patients were given an easy means to recognize their nursing team for excellent care and service.

Purposeful rounding on patients offers many benefits to nursing leaders, care team members, and patients. Veterans feel like their voices are being heard and their needs are being met, nursing leaders are made aware of patient concerns and staff members worthy of praise, and staff are being recognized for outstanding care and service.

Too often in healthcare we focus on what’s not working well and, as a result, demoralize and deflate our workforce. Focusing on what is going right will help to save time, retain your excellent team, re-recruit high performers, and remind your staff regularly of why they chose a career dedicated to serving the healthcare needs of others.