Cathy Rodgers Ward
UCLA Medical Center, USA
Cathy Rodgers Ward, PhD, RN, NEA-BC is an experienced nurse executive and researcher and was most recently the Chief Nursing Officer for the past 18 years at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, designated three times as a Magnet facility. Dr. Ward also holds an appointment as clinical faculty in the UCLA School of Nursing. Her research has focused on the effects of nursing leadership on patient outcomes in hospitalized patients. Under Dr. Ward’s direction, UCLA achieved high patient satisfaction with overall quality of care ranking above the 90th percentile nationally and nurse satisfaction ranked above the 95th percentile. Dr. Ward has received many awards including the 2017 UCLA Leadership Award, 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Alabama in Birmingham, the 2015 Transformational Leadership Award at UCLA, and the United States 2011 Nurseweek National Management Nurse of the Year.
Statement of the Problem: Nursing management programs to improve nurse performance as measured by patient outcomes such as patient satisfaction or quality outcomes have proven difficult to sustain. Many quality programs are implemented only to have temporary gains in patient outcomes. This study describes a nursing leadership approach involving feedback to the individual nurse regarding their own patient’s outcomes, therefore engaging the nurse at a personal level for motivation to sustain outcomes. Methodology and Theoretical Orientation: Motivation theory and professional practice models guide the theoretical orientation to this research. This study was conducted in a large academic medical center with >1700 nurses receiving their own scorecards on their performance related to patient satisfaction and patient safety. Special emphasis was placed on positive nurse communication as a driver of patient satisfaction. Patient responses on patient satisfaction questionnaires were matched using medical record numbers with the nurse caring for them in the hospital using the nurse assigned to them each shift as documented in the electronic medical record. Analytics software was utilized to prepare the data for each unit manager to share with their staff. Findings: Nurse Communication scores have increased to 89% and have been sustained since the implementation of the “Always Report”. Nurses have responded positively to receiving feedback on their performance and unit leaders have responded positively to the use of the report as a feedback tool for coaching and motivating nurses. The number of nurses on the “Always Report” continues to increase each quarter. Conclusions and Significance: Providing nurses with individual feedback on their performance contributes to sustained outcomes. The implementation of a positive, proactive approach to feedback on nurse performance contributes to positive patient outcomes.