Nurse leaders

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INDUSTRYD E R S H E A LT H L E A

MEDIA 2011

SURVEY

Nurse Leaders

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healthleaders media industry survey 2011 Nurse Leaders

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Nurses: Focus on Quality, satisfaction
of NURSE lEadERS SURVEYED:
In a trying economic time, nurse executives are keeping theirfocus on ensuring their organization provides safe, quality patient care, according to the results of the 2011 HealthLeaders Media Industry Survey. Economic changes are coming and nurse executives’ top priorities are ensuring their organization’s patient satisfaction and quality/patient safety scores bring them their maximum allowable reimbursements. In the survey, nurse leaders ranked their top threepriorities as: 1. Patient experience/patient satisfaction 2. Quality/patient safety 3. Cost reduction
“These are the scores that the CEO will look at the nurse executive and say, ‘What are you doing about our quality? What are you doing about our patient satisfaction?’ says Eileen L. Dohmann, vice president of nursing at Mary Washington Hospital in Fredericksburg, VA. “Issues such as the drivefor accountable care organizations are important issues, but the more burning issues are patient satisfaction and quality, because we know that that’s how we’re going to start getting paid next year.” The study revealed nurse executives believe nurse-to-patient ratios are the most important factor for providing highquality patient care. They aren’t worried about finding enough nurses to providethat care, with only 34% responding that they believe nurse supply will have a negative or strongly negative impact on their organization. The current economy has brought a temporary respite to the nursing shortage and Dohmann isn’t surprised by the response. “We’ve gotten a little bit lulled,” she says. “If you asked the question about the nursing supply a year or 18 months ago, it would have beentop of the list.” Dohmann notes that 15 months ago, her organization employed 150 traveler nurses. Today, she has none. “What I worry about is that people will think there isn’t really a nursing shortage,” she says. “The reality is there is a nursing shortage, it’s just that nurses aren’t leaving the profession as quickly as

46

percent Say organized labor will have a negative or stronglynegative impact on their organization

75

percent Say low nurse-topatient ratios are effective or very effective in improving quality of care

26

percent Say physician abuse or disrespect of nurses is common at their organization

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healthleaders media industry survey 2011 Nurse Leaders

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they were. People who had thought about retiring have put it off because of the economy. People who might have hopped around or moved are thinking twice. But it doesn’t change the fact that what is really driving the nursing shortage is the average age of the nurse and the baby boomers and we haven’t addressed either of those two problems.” Nurse executives have not yet solved the impendingissue of retiring nurses, with 57% saying they are unprepared for the expected mass exodus of baby boomer nurses. However, in the short term, organized labor could be a more pressing concern as nursing unions have seen increased action in the past year. Fortysix percent of nurse leaders say organized labor will have a negative or strongly negative impact on their organization, which Dohmannreports is a sign of the times. “Two years ago, when nurses could get jobs anywhere and travelers were all over the place, people wouldn’t think about joining a union,” she says. Today what is always important to us is to remember the value of the professional nurse in providing quality patient care.” In terms of nursing environment, nurse-physician relationships are better than ever before. When...
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