Patient satisfaction is viewed as a significant indicator of quality of care. More specifically, improving patient satisfaction related to communication about medications and potential side effects can improve healthcare outcomes. Patient satisfaction scores related to medication side effects on a neuro-medical surgical unit were monitored following a quality improvement program. These patients frequently experience cognitive impairment and functional difficulties that can affect the way they understand and handle medications. The purpose of this quality improvement practice change was to (a) develop an educational approach for post-acute neurosurgical patients and (b) evaluate whether the use of the approach is successful in improving patient satisfaction scores related to medication education on side effects. The quality improvement program interventions included (a) patient informational handouts inserted into admission folders, (b) nurse education about the importance of providing education on side effects to patient and discussion of their involvement with the program, (c) unit flyers with nurse education, and (d) various communications with bedside nurses through personal work mail and emails. The primary focus was for nurses to employ the teach-back method to review and reinforce the medication side-effect teaching with patients. Evaluation of the data showed an increase in patient satisfaction after the implementation of the Always Ask program.
Journal of Neuroscience Nursing, 32(7):1299-1305 – 2013