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Using patient feedback data to improve perceptions of nursing staff

Nurses at Driscoll Children’s Hospital spend 24 hours a day with patients and families and have the most interactions and opportunities to influence the patient experience. So, when patient experience scores from a surgical floor stayed below the 30th percentile for the question, ‘how well did nurses explain things?’ for two years, leaders knew it was time to use NRC Health’s robust patient feedback data to help align behaviors and initiatives related to relationships between nurses and patients.

Before NRC Health’s patient survey scores, Driscoll Children’s Hospital had a 5% response rate and only 175 comments per year. With NRC Health’s patient feedback data, they received a 30% response rate with more than 5,000 comments per year.

Driscoll Children’s is part of lineup for the 2023 Pediatric Collaborative.


“This gave us the opportunity of the quantity that we were looking for,” says 2022 NRC Health Symposium Speaker Evelyn Ferrer, MPH, HCA, ACHE, Senior Director of Organizational Development & Patient Relations at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. “By looking at the questions and being able to drill down, you can really find out where your problems are,” she says. “And it’s a great source for recognition too.”

For Driscoll Children’s Hospital, NRC Health’s data was able to:

  • Provide immediate, real-time feedback
  • Deliver a larger quantity of data to create powerful, believable experience data for all stakeholders
  • Specify easily identifiable opportunities for improvement
  • Offer a deep well for recognition opportunities

Ferrer says accountability is a huge part of their leadership strategy.

“In 2013, we adopted the ‘Communicate with H.E.A.R.T’ customer service program from The Cleveland Clinic. We adopted it, wrote it out, hardwired the whole program, and have a street inside our hospital called The Driscoll Way. We had 96% participation. Before we adopted The Driscoll Way customer service approach, we were below the 55th percentile, so it was about time to do that. Leadership incentive goals have changed the board; our goal was the 75th percentile. NRC Health benchmarks children’s hospitals, and now it’s at the 80th percentile, and there was a great focus on physician engagement.”

Priscilla Joyal, MSN, RN, CPN, Director of Acute Care Services, explains how a quality improvement project helped improve scores in 2021.

“We just thought we were rocking it, but obviously, the family perception was they were not happy with nurses, so that’s why this improvement project came to be. The nursing team said, ‘We teach, we educate, we talk. We have the highest patient admissions and discharges than any other floor.’ Well, there is a disconnect. We were teaching and teaching and teaching, but we were not pausing. We were having a one-way conversation and not allowing a two-way conversation, so I think that was the biggest, a-ha moment for us is that we were giving all these handouts, we were doing all this teaching, we did a lot of great things,” Joyal says. “But we just can’t throw all this information out at patients. We’ve got to pause and ask, ‘Do you understand?’ ‘What can I explain further?’” she says.

Successfully implementing its nursing quality improvement project has helped align Driscoll Health System with improved patient experience and satisfaction, which also aligns with current national patient safety goals while keeping patients and families at the center of the initiative.

Register for NRC Health’s 2023 Pediatric Collaborative

NRC Health is excited to partner with Phoenix Children’s for the 2023 Pediatric Collaborative on March 28 and 29. NRC Health’s Pediatric Collaborative creates opportunities for pediatric healthcare leaders to connect, learn something new, and leave inspired to make a positive change. Don’t miss a chance to make invaluable pediatric connections, dive deeper into strategic education, and reignite your passion with inspiring speakers.