Five minutes can make a big difference to a patient. That’s why Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano has launched Commit to Sit, a program that helps nurses build relationships by sitting for three to five minutes with each of their patients during their shift. Making the intentional change to sit rather than stand has improved the patient experience.
"We recognized an opportunity to improve the patient experience related to compassionate care," said Brandi Jennings, BSN, RNC-OB, clinical manager, Labor and Delivery, Texas Health Plano. "Studies show that sitting down and connecting with patients fosters relationships and shows compassionate care."
This spring, Jennings led a three-month pilot program on two units at the hospital. Almost all nurse-related HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores increased. On one unit, "compassion shown by caregivers" went from 60 to 67.6. On the other unit, "nurses treat you with courtesy and respect" rose from 85.5 to 97.1. The overall rating of care given rose on both units.
Now implemented throughout the hospital, the program encourages nurses to ask open ended questions and begin a meaningful dialog, make eye contact, take the time to listen and involve the patient's family. Patients say they love this new approach.
"The nurses sitting to talk with me has had a tremendous impact on the nurse patient relationship," said Kevin Scahill, patient at Texas Health Plano. "It's given me time to really discuss my needs."
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southwest Fort Worth also adopted the program.