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Archive August 2018 XIX, No. 8

Satisfaction Guaranteed

6 patient-pleasing ideas you can implement today.

Mike Morsch

Mike Morsch, Associate Editor


BEAR NECESSITIES A backpack shaped like the face of a bear is a convenient way to transport paperwork and belongings following a hospital visit.

In this era of quality reporting programs and online reviews and ratings, nothing can ruin your reputation or reduce your reimbursement like poor patient satisfaction scores. Here are 6 simple ways to keep spreading positive vibes.

1. An easier and organized discharge

Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., sends its younger patients home with a drawstring backpack shaped like the face of a bear and with the hospital's logo printed on it. Not only is it a convenient way to transport paperwork and belongings, but also it gets the hospital's name out there in the community.

Inside each Bear Bag is a two-pocket folder that includes the discharge papers, prescriptions, date and time of follow-up appointments, and a survey card that encourages patients (or their parents) to take a short online survey with a chance to win an iPad Mini. The RN discharging the patient can also place an emesis basin, dressing supplies, snacks and a stuffed animal in the bag.

A Children's Mercy nurse sparked the idea. She remembered how difficult it was to leave a hospital with the discharge instructions and medications while trying to carry her child to the car. Always looking for ways to improve the patient experience, nurses at the hospital developed "The Bear Bag" project.

"We decided a bag that would keep everything in place would be so wonderful for our parents and families," says Gentry Ehlert, BSN, RN, CNOR, assistant director of nursing and the operating room at Children's Mercy. "And a bag that was reusable for children after their visit would help improve our marketing."

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