Wednesday, November 09, 2011
scathingly brilliant medicare idea #1,678
Beginning in October 2012 Medicare will begin withholding 1% of its payments to hospitals to put into a fund that will amount to $850 million dollars in the first year. Based on patient satisfaction scores, this money will be doled out in bonuses to hospitals with the highest scores. The idea behind this being patients will get better care.
This obsession with patient satisfaction is already going on in a lot of places, some more than others. There is nothing wrong with wanting patients to be happy. A worthy goal.
What makes a patient happy? Feeling like somebody cares, relieving their pain, understanding what is going on, getting better.
Nurses care, otherwise we wouldn't be nurses. We want to spend time with patients, listen to them, support them. Here's the problem: We don't have time. We are short staffed. We are required to chart a thousand things on the computer. Call light not answered in a timely manner because there aren't enough nurses, because they are trying to complete all the charting requirements = unhappy patients = bad satisfaction scores = less money for hospitals.
Nurses relieve pain. We want to relieve pain. However, there are a lot of drug seekers in the world. Sometimes they don't get what they want. They get mad. Mad drug seeker patient = low satisfaction score = less money for hospitals.
Nurses want the patients to understand what is going on. They want to be able to take the whirlwind of doctors, results, etc. and break it down in a language the patient can understand. Sometimes we can't do that: short staffed, busy charting. Confused patients = low satisfaction scores = less money for hospitals.
Patients want to get better. Of course they do. Nurses want them to get better too. Sometimes nurses are too busy or somebody deteriorates, there is short staffing and all the tasks that patients require to get better can't be accomplished. Patient having to stay longer or develops complications because nurse not able to give required care = low satisfaction scores = less money for hospitals.
Better patient satisfaction and improved care, great goals to have. Will there be improved nurse staffing to make that happen: NO. Are they realistic in todays health care system: NO.
Posted by girlvet at 9:48 AM