Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Sue Bell


As part of healthcare reform through the Affordable Care Act of 2010,

hospitals across the United States are being held accountable for

providing a positive patient experience and will lose up to 2% of

their reimbursement by 2017 if they fail to reach targeted scores.

The purpose of this quality improvement project was to review the

process used by a Georgia hospital to educate newly-hired nurses

about customer service expectations and to provide recommendations

for process improvement. Theoretical foundations supporting

customer service included the caring philosophy of Mayeroff; the

caring theories of Watson, Leininger, Boykin, and Nyberg; and

Roy's adaptation theory.

Using the plan-do-study-act model, the project began with a literature

review to discover evidence-based customer service strategies.

A qualitative evaluation was then conducted of the organizational

documents (job description, annual review form, orientation

checklists, clinical orientation record, the Standards of Behavior Form)

and the educational slide presentations to determine how

customer service was presented to new employees.

The customer service strategies introduced during orientation

and reinforced by the organization in employee evaluations were

compared with evidence-based strategies. Improvement

recommendations were developed and presented to the

13 nursing leaders of the organization. Materials developed

to improve customer service included a poster for display, a tool

for examining customer service strategies in hourly rounding,

and a performance competency tool to assess nurses'

customer service delivery. The project promotes social change

by enhancing nurse-patient interactions, improving

patients' perceptions of care, and increasing trust between the

patients and the healthcare team to improve patient outcomes.