How Good Leadership Can Positively Impact Patient Experience

Updated on October 6, 2022

Quality nursing leadership can positively impact patient care and experience beyond the hospital walls. With exemplary leadership, nurses can better perform on the job and make crucial decisions to improve patients’ overall care.

Today’s healthcare environment demands that nurses find innovative ways to make patients happier, healthier, and more satisfied with their experience at the hospital or clinic. Fortunately, there are several simple things that nursing leaders can do to help improve patient satisfaction scores and experiences.

If you’re looking to join the nursing field, it’s essential to understand how good leadership can positively impact patient experience and overall health outcomes. Read on to learn how good leadership can help make your patients’ experience more positive.

An overview of nursing leadership

Nursing leadership is an umbrella term that encompasses the many roles nurses fulfill in a healthcare setting. Nurses are often seen as leaders in healthcare because they are at the front of patient care and have extensive experience with various challenges. 

Nurse leaders exist at all levels, from new graduates to seasoned professionals. They are instrumental in making decisions about the quality of care and other priorities for nursing practice. 

As frontline providers who understand what it means to administer direct patient care, nurse leaders can advocate for their patients better than anyone else on staff. Additionally, nurse leaders foster growth opportunities for the nursing staff by providing support and mentoring so that every nurse can reach their full potential. 

To become a nurse leader, you can enroll in a Baylor University online Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. Once you receive your DNP, you can use this credential to work as a clinician, researcher, educator, or administrator.

5 ways good leadership can positively impact patient experience

The nursing profession takes pride in how it looks after patients, but it’s also essential to consider how the nurses feel about their work environment. You can improve your patient’s experience by creating an environment where you and your fellow staff are comfortable.

These actions require good leadership from you and your superiors at all times. Here are five tips on how good leadership can positively impact the patient experience.

  1. Good leadership improves patient satisfaction

Good leadership in nursing can positively impact patients’ experiences. Good leaders are more likely to show care and compassion for their patients, leading to higher patient satisfaction. 

When patients feel cared for, they are more likely to disclose sensitive information or ask questions they might not feel comfortable with. They may also be more open to trying new treatments to improve their outcomes. 

For example, some patients prefer a female doctor over a male one. When nurses do their best to ensure the patient has access to what they need, it’s easier for them to have a successful appointment. 

  1. Nursing leadership can help improve communication

Nursing leadership is essential to improving patient experience. Nurses are often the first point of contact for patients and their families, and they can use their position to improve communication with patients. 

Strong communication skills will allow nurses to better address patient questions, concerns and needs to provide a more positive experience. Nurses should communicate effectively with patients through verbal and written means. 

Leaders should be mindful of their language when speaking with staff and patients and learn how to create an environment for open dialogue. By listening to staff’s concerns and involving them in decision-making, leaders foster teamwork and camaraderie among team members, improving patient care.

  1. Good leadership gives team members opportunities to grow

Using solid feedback, nursing leadership can encourage team members to grow their skills, improve their work performance and feel valued. Good nursing leadership can help team members develop their skills and learn new skills, which is essential for the development of any professional. 

Nursing leaders should also encourage team members to develop outside the hospital setting. Other possibilities include volunteering in a community outreach program or hosting a brown bag presentation about a healthcare topic. 

Such opportunities allow nurses to gain experience outside of the clinical environment. These actions will positively impact the patient experience because good leadership allows nurses to build relationships with patients outside of the hospital walls. 

It allows for continuity when someone gets discharged from the hospital, even if it’s only briefly as a clinic appointment.

  1. Lower patient mortality

Good nursing leadership can positively impact patient mortality rates. Patients more engaged in their healthcare are less likely to miss appointments, delay care and fail to follow a doctor’s orders.  

Nurses with solid leadership skills can create teams of caregivers who provide compassionate care and help ensure patients have all the necessary information to navigate the healthcare system. 

Improved mortality rates also reduce the risk of complications due to preventable causes such as dehydration or hospital-acquired infections. Nurse leaders often take on the responsibility of educating patients and families on managing common conditions at home.

  1. Reduced medication errors

With good nurse leadership, nurses can be held accountable for their errors, significantly reducing the cost of medication errors in a hospital. Nurses who are strong leaders are less likely to make medication errors because they feel valued and supported. 

They also have a greater sense of control over their jobs, reducing the incidence of burnout that leads to mistakes. Nurses are more engaged in patient care when allowed to decide how they spend their time. 

Leaders who provide positive feedback and meaningful recognition for nurses’ contributions reduce turnover rates, creating stability within the nursing staff. 

Ultimately, this improves the patient experience because patients receive compassionate and attentive care from nurses who take pride in their work.

Wrapping up

Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare team, and their leadership skills can help determine how much a patient’s experience is positive. With the right leader, nurses will be motivated to provide patients with the most compassionate care possible, leading to happier patients. Ultimately, a nurse’s leadership qualities can significantly impact a patient’s experience.

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