Patient Satisfaction and Experience are impacted by more than just clinical care, the temperature of the food, and a call light. The Environment of Care (EOC) within a hospital also has a large and direct impact not only on patient safety but also patient experience.
Let’s start with a brief overview of EOC rounds.
EOC rounds or audits are conducted frequently in all patient care areas as well as those that directly support patient care. It helps ensure a patient has a safe, secure, and pleasant environment during their stay. EOC rounds are completed by a surveyor. Surveyors can be safety officers, facilities staff, environmental services staff, or clinical team members; most often nurses.
EOC Round Components
An Environment of Care round covers three main areas:
- The Physical Building: When surveying, individuals should look for items such as hallways that are free of clutter, floors are free from trip hazards, sufficient lightening in rooms and hallways, as well as leaking water from faucets or pipes. It is clear that these are items that impact patient safety. In addition, they also impact the safety of the staff at the hospital. It is the role of the surveyor to ensure issues or deficiencies identified are quickly corrected. A safe patient is a satisfied patient.
- Equipment use in Support of Patient Care: It is truly amazing when you consider the amount of equipment that can impact a patient during a visit. This equipment is usually high-tech, provides critical functions in the hospital, and can impact life-safety. This equipment needs to be reviewed and inspected to ensure ultimate patient safety. Some of the items reviewed during such a round are: exit lights, fire extinguishers, sprinklers, and call lights. The impact to a patient if one of these items is not functional is abundantly clear. There is also equipment that may not have a life safety impact but can directly impact patient satisfaction if not functioning properly. Equipment such as non-functional televisions, dim lighting, and over flowing trash receptacles make for a poor stay in a hospital environment.
- Caregivers and other Hospital Employees: Being able to easily identify hospital personnel can help a patient feel both attention and comfort for safety and accessibility. An Environment of Care round ensures that caregivers, as well as other hospital personnel, are wearing the appropriate identification. It also helps ensure that their actions keep patient safety and patient satisfaction at the forefront. For example, storing chemicals in proper storage away from patient access, food at nurses’ stations are not open and accessible, and that medication is always locked and not accessible.
It may seem overwhelming to those that are just starting or are new to Environment of Care rounds. However, with the right rounding solution and partner, your organization can gain insight into any issues, take corrective action, and measure compliance effectively.