We believe that the patient experience is the sum of all environmental interactions, perceived through a person’s individual culture, circumstance, relationships, and expectations — all of which influence how patients make meaning of what is happening to them.
There are three critical factors that inform the patient experience:
- Acuity of the patient
- Acuity of the caregiver
- Acuity of the environment
Higher patient acuity means that patients are sicker. Higher staff acuity means that a caregiver, nurse, physician, or others are highly stressed and their capacity to respond is compromised.
Higher environmental acuity means that the physical environment in which care is delivered is toxic, risky, or agitating.
The environment of care informs the nurse, the nurse becomes the environment to the patient, and the patient’s experience reflects both. This is the essence of our work.
In this section, you can learn how the physical environment can affect safety and quality, patient satisfaction, privacy, and pain management — all of which are part of the overall patient experience and can impact HCAHPS scores.
We also point you to other resources and information on this site that may be helpful to making sustained changes in your organization.