Does scripting by nurses in the emergency department increase patient satisfaction scores?
Fuller, Melissa Lynn
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Increased patient satisfaction has become has become a serious financial issue in hospitals for two reasons: (1) unfavorable patient satisfaction ratings may prompt high-cost decisions such as a new construction prompted by competition from other hospitals and (2) low satisfaction rating may affect a hospital's standing. Research indicates that the patient satisfaction scores in many emergency departments (EDs) around the world are low. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of scripting by nurses in the Emergency Department to increase patient satisfaction scores. Satisfaction scores have decreased tremendously in EDs all around the world. Improving emergency department patient satisfaction scores has been studied from several approaches, with a common theme being a lack of communication between emergency department staff and their patients. One method in particular that might help to foster better communication is the use of scripting by the nursing staff. The study design was a quantitative research study using overall patient satisfaction scores as well as well as scores from individual communication questions during the pre-scripting and post-scripting time frames to examine the use of scripting by emergency department nursing staff and its relationship to the increase in patient satisfaction scores. A retrospective, longitudinal analysis was conducted of patient satisfaction scores before and after the implementation of scripting by emergency department nursing staff. This was done to determine if there was an increase in the patient satisfaction scores. The primary focus of this study was patient satisfaction and its association with perception of care in the ED. This includes communication with patients regarding their perception of care as it relates to the process of informing patients about their specific tests and procedures. However, because no statistical analysis could be done, the null hypotheses were accepted.