149 - Improving Patient and Family Satisfaction Related to Surgical Wait Times
Description: The healthcare market is growing more and more competitive. The availability of information through the internet, and Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), has given consumers the ability to compare quality of care provided by hospitals and providers. A review of the Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction Report indicated that ambulatory pediatric patients and families at UF Health at Shands Children’s Hospital are not satisfied with the information they receive about delays, compared to the benchmark. Surgical delays affect healthcare in several ways including indirect healthcare cost, physician and staff frustration, and a decline in patient satisfaction scores. As health care providers, our goal is to meet the needs of our patients holistically. Patients arrive to a surgical setting anxious, and are allowed nothing to eat or drink, this is added stress to their experience. Patient delays are upsetting and decrease the quality of the consumers view of their healthcare.Consumers have an expectation of care, and advocacy is a major aspect to the nursing role. Two components of advocacy suggested by Finkelman (2016) are “providing information that is useful to the patients”, and “supporting the patient’s decisions”(p.295). UF Health’s perioperative nursing services has taken the initiative to develop tools, resources, and processes aimed at improving patient satisfaction related to information provided about delays in the pediatric ambulatory setting. A multidisciplinary team consisting of pediatric surgery, pediatric anesthesiology, perioperative nursing, and clerical staff met and determined that there is no standardized form of communication provided to patients and families when a delay occurs in the surgical start time. Perioperative nursing observed patient flow in the surgery clinic, anesthesia clinic, as well as the ambulatory surgical waiting area, to assess what information, if any, was provided to the patients and families, regarding possible delays on the day of surgery. The information gathered revealed that patients were not informed about the possibilities of delays prior to and on the day of surgery. To ensure that a standard of care is being met, a patient education handout was developed by the interdisciplinary team. The handout describes the academic institute and what to expect the day of surgery and the process for surgical delays. The handout will be provided in clinics upon scheduling of their surgical procedure. UF Health researched recommended surgical wait times to determine an internal benchmark. A decision was made that patients should not be delayed longer than 30 minutes. A decision tree, appropriate to the clinical problem, was developed to ensure that a standard of care is implemented. When patients are delayed 30 minutes, the operating room charge nurse will collaborate with the attending surgeon and anesthesiologist to decide the patient’s plan of care.