Date of Graduation

Summer 8-11-2021

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Kathy Coleman



Problem: Effective medication communication, including potential side effects, is a key determinant of safe patient care and better health outcomes. 3SA scores a 1-2 out of 5-stars for medication communication with the HCAHPS survey from October 2020-March 2021.

Context: As one of the medical-surgical units at this California hospital, it serves the purpose of providing medical and/or surgical management to acutely ill patients. The unit is a 24-bed, 1:5 nursing ratio with medical-telemetry and Covid-19 overflow.

Intervention: The interventions include a structured, evidence-based multi-component program in improving patient knowledge about new medications they receive, the possible side effects of those medication(s), and implementing a new workflow for nurses when providing medication education to patients.

Results: The HCAHPS scoring system is used to measure outcomes on medication communication by nurses. The process outcome measure was audited during leadership rounds with the goal of 80% compliance. From April 16th to May 5th, 2021, 52% of patients reported their nurse spoke to them about their medication and the possible side effects and 40% reported having been given the “medication slip” during medication pass. April 2021, 3SA closed with a HCAHPS star of 3.

Conclusion: The process measure did not meet the goal of 80%. The author identified many barriers that impact the project that can be helpful in future projects. Covid-19 greatly impacted and continues to have an impact on the nursing workflow and workload. Staffing shortage, declining staff morale, lack of staff buy-in, and competing projects that took priority over this project are some of the barriers that have been identified.

Keywords: Medication Communication, HCAHPS, Patient Education, Teach-back method

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