October 03, 2019
Evidence-based effort has caregivers sitting for three to five minutes with each patient during shift

PLANO, Texas — Sitting down on the job has become an effective strategy at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano, increasing HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) scores and improving the patient experience. After a successful pilot program in the spring, Commit to Sit has been implemented throughout the hospital. The evidence-based program features nurses sitting for three to five minutes with each of their patients during their shift.

"We recognized an opportunity to improve the patient experience related to compassionate care," said Brandi Jennings, B.S.N., RNC-OB, clinical manager, Labor and Delivery, Texas Health Plano. "Studies show that sitting down and connecting with patients fosters relationships and shows compassionate care." 

Brandi Jennings, B.S.N., RNC-OB, sits down with a patient at Texas Health Plano.
Brandi Jennings with patient at Texas Health Plano.

The three-month pilot program on two units at the hospital, created and led by Jennings, supports the evidence. Making the intentional change to sit rather than stand when talking with patients has improved the patient experience. Almost all nurse-related HCAHPS scores increased. On one unit, "compassion shown by caregivers" went from 60 to 67.6. On the other unit, "nurses treat you with courtesy and respect" rose from 85.5 to 97.1. The overall rating of care given rose on both units.

Now implemented throughout the hospital, the program encourages nurses to connect with patients by sitting down, asking open ended questions and beginning a meaningful dialog. Making eye contact, taking the time to listen and involving the patient's family are key elements of the program. Patient Kevin Scahill said he appreciated the approach.

"The nurses sitting to talk with me has had a tremendous impact on the nurse patient relationship," he said. "It's given me time to really discuss my needs."

Building relationships with patients through programs like Commit to Sit supports Texas Health's Vision of partnering with you for a lifetime of health and well-being.

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About Texas Health Resources

Texas Health Resources is a faith-based, nonprofit health system that cares for more patients in North Texas than any other provider. With a service area that consists of 16 counties and more than 7 million people, the system is committed to providing quality, coordinated care through its Texas Health Physicians Group and 29 hospital locations under the banners of Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Health Harris Methodist and Texas Health Huguley. Texas Health access points and services, ranging from acute-care hospitals and trauma centers to outpatient facilities and home health and preventive services, provide the full continuum of care for all stages of life. The system has more than 4,100 licensed hospital beds, 6,400 physicians with active staff privileges and more than 26,000 employees. For more information about Texas Health, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.  

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