Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Family Nurse Practitioner



Faculty Chair

Dr. Kimberly Helms


Dr. April Weatherly


Background: Patient-centered care (PCC) has been an emerging trend in healthcare for the past two decades (Walsh et al., 2022). PCC and the patient experience have become essential measures of the quality of care provided and are linked to reimbursement dollars and improved patient outcomes (Rapport et al., 2019).

Purpose: The purpose of the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) project was to improve the patient experience in the Emergency Department (ED) of a metropolitan hospital. The DNP project focused on the benefit of a patient advocate in the ED to improve the patient experience. The project sought to improve patient experience scores to the facility goal of >70%; the current overall score for 2022 is 68.9%.

Methods: The project followed the plan-do-study-act and Lewin’s change theory as a foundation to guide the project.

Results: The patient care specialist role improved patient experience scores weekly on weeks one through six. The overall scores for the eight-week period were not >70%; however, an electronic medical record change in week seven directly affected scores.

Conclusion: The patient care specialist role proved to be a valuable resource and liaison for families in the ED. Patient experience scores improved weekly and met or exceeded the agency's goal except during the last two weeks of data collection; there was a significant change within the organization during this time frame, including changing electronic medical record (EMR) operating systems.

Keywords: emergency department, patient satisfaction, patient advocate, patient experience


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