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St. Joseph Hospital advances emergency department communication

Effective communication in the emergency department is necessary for patient safety and satisfaction. In 2019 and 2020, during the onset of COVID-19, St. Joseph Hospital, a member of Catholic Health (Long Island), recognized the immediate need to improve nurse communication in the ED to keep their patients safe.

In the first quarter of 2019, satisfaction scores for nurse communication were below 28%, leading the team to first complete service excellence training. When COVID-19 emerged in 2020, unique communication challenges arose as patients were placed in isolation rooms and not as easily visualized. To keep patients safe, the team embraced bedside shift reports, which enhance communication and improve patient safety and satisfaction. The team also conducted Plan-Do-Study-Act rapid cycle test changes. ED leadership completed observation audits with debriefs using appreciative coaching for feedback. They aimed to improve BSR quality by using the Situation-Background-Assessment-Recommendation tool in the electronic health record.

Due to their effort, satisfaction scores for nurse communication improved greatly from 2019 to 2022. Specifically, the “Nurses took the time to listen to patients” metric increased as follows: 34% in 2019, 47% in 2020 and 72% in 2021. Additionally, the “Nurse kept patients informed of delays” metric increased: 31% in 2019, 41% in 2020 and 82% in 2021.

For more information, contact Allison Lace MPH, MS, RN, CEN, director of nursing, emergency department, at allison.lace@chsli.org or 516.520.2896.