Quantitative evidence links patient satisfaction scores to the use of communication strategies such as AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, and Thank you) and Hourly Rounding. However, little is known about patient perceptions of these tools in regards to their hospital experience. Qualitative interviews were conducted with a convenience sample of 14 adult medical/surgical inpatients in one mid-sized, community hospital, following hospital discharge. The interview data was transcribed and opened coded, utilizing constant comparison to identify common themes. Themes emerged in four topical areas: (a) patient experience of hospitalization, (b) AIDET, (c) Hourly Rounding, and (d) unexpected findings. Patients placed significant value on having their emotional needs met by staff during their hospitalization. While patients felt hospital staff explained procedures well, but staff did not explain the illness or its treatment effectively. AIDET was found to be applied consistently; however patients did not understand the duration aspect of AIDET. Hourly Rounding with a purpose was not noticeable by patients; descriptions by patients of the practice included medication passes and vital checks. However, reduction of call light usage and sleep interruptions were mentioned. Unexpected findings included feelings of loneliness while hospitalized and inconsistent delivery of patient’s pain relief regimens. The results overall suggest a focus on meeting emotional needs may be necessary to improve patient experiences in the hospital. More intentional use of AIDET and Hourly Rounding may help to maximize the benefit of these tools. Further research is warranted to validate findings from this study.

Experience Framework

This article is associated with the Culture & Leadership lens of The Beryl Institute Experience Framework. (http://bit.ly/ExperienceFramework)