Date of Graduation

Summer 8-5-2020

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions



Problem: Effective communication about medications and their potential side effects is a significant indicator of safe patient care and improved health outcomes. The Cardiac Procedure Unit (CPU) of a large medical center in California recently received a low HCAHPS (CMS, 2019) score of one star (out of five) in the area of medication communication.

Context: The CPU is a microsystem that provides pre and post cardiac procedure care for patients of diverse backgrounds. It has a highly competent staff administering patient care. Current patient medication education faces challenges that hinder patient receptivity and thus understanding.

Intervention: The proposed project employs a multi-pronged approach to improve the communication of medication education nurses provide to their patients in the CPU. This includes the creation of visual aids/flyers, changes in the patient discharge workflow, and incorporating medication discussion during the Nurse Knowledge Exchange (NKE).

Measures: HCAHPS score in the area of medication communication is the primary measure for the project efficacy. Additionally, patient and staff engagement are assessed through patient rounding and NKE.

Result: Since the project inception last September, with a score of one star, the score peaked at five stars two months later. The significant increase in HCAHPS score reflects the effectiveness of the project.

Conclusion: COVID-19 has significantly disrupted CPU’s workflow and caused a significant decrease in the Q1-2020 scores. As we strive to return to a new normal post-COVID19, additional training and adjustment must be made in the CPU to maintain quality medication communication. This will help to sustain the initial gains achieved by the project.

Included in

Nursing Commons