Press Ganey Study Finds Nurse Communication A "Rising Tide" Measure

Focus on Improving Nurse Communication Can Positively Impact Other Measures

May 07, 2013, 09:00 ET from Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

SOUTH BEND, Ind. and BOSTON, May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitals could potentially affect 15 percent of their value-based purchasing (VBP) incentive payments by focusing their improvement efforts on one metric, according to a new study released by Press Ganey Associates, Inc. In the second of its Performance Insights series, Press Ganey, the leading patient experience improvement firm, has identified nurse communication as a "rising tide measure." Specifically, when hospitals improve nurse communications with patients, they will likely see associated gains in other scores: responsiveness of hospital staff, pain management, communication about medication and increased overall patient experience scores.

The paper, "The Rising Tide Measure: Communication with Nurses," is based on an analysis of more than 3,000 U.S. acute care hospitals using publicly available data. The study was conducted by researchers at Press Ganey, the leading patient experience improvement firm.

"Press Ganey has long understood and respected the pivotal role that nurses play in delivering high quality patient experiences," said Patrick T. Ryan, CEO of Press Ganey. "An improvement strategy that seeks to improve communications between nurses and patients can have a profound impact on performance and will dramatically improve the quality of care and outcomes. It is critical that health care organizations understand the importance of this issue as a key driver in delivering truly patient-centered care."

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests performance on the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Health Care Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) survey, which includes a Communications with Nurses dimension, is strongly associated with hospital performance on other Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) payment programs. Focusing improvement efforts on the Communication with Nurses dimension is an opportunity to maximize VBP incentive payments and improve hospital performance on other pay-for-performance incentives.

"As the bedside caregivers, nurses have the most interaction with patients and are positioned to have the greatest impact on their overall experience," said Christina Dempsey, MSN MBA CNOR CENP, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer of Press Ganey. "In order to truly improve nurse communication and other measures, patient experience awareness should be treated as a core competency and incorporated into all required training. It is not 'one more thing' to do, but rather a central component of the core organizational mission to improve the quality and safety of care."

Download a copy of the paper "The Rising Tide Measure: Communication with Nurses."

Press Ganey Associates, Inc.
Recognized as a leader in performance improvement for nearly 30 years, Press Ganey partners with more than 10,000 health care organizations worldwide to create and sustain high-performing organizations, and, ultimately, improve the overall patient experience. The company offers a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that capture the patient voice and identify more targeted improvement opportunities through advanced analytics and strategic advisory services. Press Ganey works with clients from across the continuum of care – hospitals, medical practices, home care agencies and other providers – including 50% of U.S. hospitals. For more information, visit

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SOURCE Press Ganey Associates, Inc.