Background: Nurse-sensitive indicators and nurses’ satisfaction with the quality of care are two commonly used ways to measure quality of nursing care. However, little is known about the relationship between these kinds of measures. This study aimed to examine concordance between nurse-sensitive screening indicators and nurse-perceived quality of care.
Methods: To calculate a composite performance score for each of six Dutch non-university teaching hospitals,
the percentage scores of the publicly reported nurse-sensitive indicators: screening of delirium, screening of
malnutrition, and pain assessments, were averaged (2011). Nurse-perceived quality ratings were obtained from staff nurses working in the same hospitals by the Dutch Essentials of Magnetism II survey (2010). Concordance between the quality measures was analyzed using Spearman’s rank correlation.
Results: The mean screening performances ranged from 63 % to 93 % across the six hospitals. Nurse-perceived quality of care differed significantly between the hospitals, also after adjusting for nursing experience, educational level, and regularity of shifts. The hospitals with high-levels of nurse-perceived quality were also high-performing hospitals according to nurse-sensitive indicators. The relationship was true for high-performing as well as lower-performing hospitals, with strong correlations between the two quality measures (r S = 0.943, p = 0.005).
Conclusions: Our findings showed that there is a significant positive association between objectively measured nurse sensitive screening indicators and subjectively measured perception of quality. Moreover, the two indicators of quality of nursing care provide corresponding quality rankings. This implies that improving factors that are associated with nurses’ perception of what they believe to be quality of care may also lead to better screening processes. Although convergent validity seems to be established, we emphasize that different kinds of quality measures could be used to complement each other, because various stakeholders may assign different values to the quality of nursing care.