Date on Paper


Document Type

Doctoral Paper

Degree Name




Committee Chair

DeLetter, Mary

Committee Member

Williams-Coleman, Beverly

Author's Keywords

palliative; palliative care; inpatient; family satisfaction; survey distribution


Inpatient palliative care programs with The Joint Commission (TJC) Advanced Certification for Palliative Care are accountable for evaluating multiple health outcomes, including family satisfaction. A midwestern urban hospital’s palliative care unit received certification in January 2019. To comply with TJC standards, a clear data management and evaluation plan for family satisfaction data was needed. Investigation of the previous family satisfaction measure processes revealed areas in need of improvement in the satisfaction survey distribution, data collection, and evaluation processes. Satisfaction surveys were often unable to be distributed to families of deceased patients because the documented mailing address was a nursing facility. Survey data that were collected were entered in multiple spreadsheets, making data management and evaluation cumbersome. This project’s purpose was to implement an improved satisfaction survey distribution process and an evaluation plan for family satisfaction data for a Palliative Care Inpatient Unit with TJC Advanced Certification. The new distribution process identified and documented family addresses so the staff can mail surveys to the intended participant rather than the deceased patient’s nursing facility. A new data management plan utilizes pivot tables for data collection and evaluation. Over a three-month period, the survey distribution rate increased from 80.5% in 2019 to 88% in 2020. Survey data for 2019 were entered into the pivot tables. The process change strengthened the unit’s distribution and data management processes to improve family satisfaction data collection, evaluation ability, ease of dissemination, and use of data to improve palliative care. Future evaluation should assess the impact of the process change on survey response rates.

Included in

Nursing Commons