Communication and Civility Workshop in Healthcare and the Effects on Patient Satisfaction and the Work Environment

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Lax, Leah
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Purpose: The purpose of this project is to provide a program for staff on using civility when effectively communicating patient needs in the health care environment; then, evaluate their knowledge, patient satisfaction scores, and the work environment. A baseline survey, using the AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Assessment tool, the Nursing Incivility Scale, HCAHPS data, and a Class Evaluation Tool, which is evaluated using numbers 1-5 and, will be utilized to assess the current use of civility in communication, the workplace environment, and patient satisfaction scores.|Background: Using civility in conversation and within the health care realm has been a relatively new topic in health care over the course of these past few years. Incivility and miscommunication has been linked to a decrease in patient satisfaction, higher nurse turnover rates, and an unhealthy work environment.|Methods: HCAHPS data is pulled for the months of July, August, and September on an acute care unit in the hospital. An acute care unit with registered nurses, techs, and ancillary staff were asked to attend a 1.5 hour workshop related to civility and communication in health care. Following, participants utilized role playing to apply civility in their conversations. A pre-and post-test using the AACN’s Healthy Work Environment Assessment Tool and Civility, Nursing Incivility Scale, and Communication Class Evaluation tool was utilized for measuring the educational outcomes of the workshop. The unit’s HCHAPS scores were then pulled for evaluation a month after the communication workshop. In addition, the AACN’s tool for evaluating a healthy work environment and the Nursing Incivility Scale was given as an assessment of the working environment pre-and post-workshop. Post communication workshop interviews were conducted amongst the staff for further evaluation of the course and staff experiences.|Results: HCHAPS scores did increase slightly on the communication between nurses and patients. Bedside staff reported feeling more confident in addressing issues of incivility on their unit and found during personal interviews to appreciate the workshop. Many wanted to continue this workshop each year. Results of the NIS was that supervisors were thought of very highly, and that majority of issues with incivility occurred between nurses and physicians, and nurses and patients/patient families. In addition, results of the NIS and the nursing confidence scale continued to show improvement across all spectrums from immediate post workshop to month 1 to month 2.|Discussion/implications for practice: The improvement shown in the data suggests that by providing staff with an education on communication and combating incivility in their work setting, can improve overall patient satisfaction, staff confidence in addressing issues of incivility, and improve civility on the unit. The implications for practice based off of these results would be to further educate staff on how to combat incivility so they have the ability to be empowered to improve civility in their practices. By improving civility, patients and staff can create a healthier work environment. Healthier work environments have been linked to improving patient outcomes and increase staff retention.
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