Below are the two questions from the HCAHPS questionnaire on pain management:
- “During this hospital stay, how often was your pain well controlled?”
- “How often did the hospital staff do everything they could to help you with your pain?”
A patient’s pain can affect their experiences and perceptions, but a patient’s environment and experiences can also affect their pain.
In a study by the Gallup Business Journal, it was noted that not only are certain levels of pain necessary for diagnosis but also it is not necessary to completely eliminate a patient’s pain in order for them to perceive that their pain was well controlled.
The tactics in the staff education video are not about specific pain control methods, but rather best practices to engage the patient in their care, earn their trust, and maintain consistent communication regarding their pain management.
Staff members’ attitudes towards patients can greatly affect their stay, especially in the area of pain management. Doing everything possible to address a patient’s pain begins by listening to them openly and without judgment.
Studies have shown that patient education and patient involvement in setting goals not only impact the patient’s perception of their pain management, but patients have even reported decreased and more tolerable levels of pain. Patient education, honest communication, and clear expectations lead to effective pain management.
Frequent rounding on patients is a tactic that can affect every part of the patient experience. Regular rounding is another opportunity for staff to let patients know they are doing all they can to ensure their pain is controlled.
BEDSIDE SHIFT REPORT
Conducting a bedside report at the change of shifts is an ideal time to not only ensure continuity of care, but to involve the patient and family in process of pain management.
ALTERNATIVE PAIN MANAGEMENT
One of the questions on the HCAHPS survey regarding pain management asks if patients feel that their caregivers did everything possible to help with their pain. Suggesting alternative pain control methods will drive home the idea that everything possible is being done to manage the patient’s pain.