OK; this should be interesting: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/50...itals.html.csp

Hospitals in pursuit of the perfect patient experience pin success on gains in patient survival, infection and readmission rates.

But measuring something as subjective as pain, and pain management, is a bit trickier.

For this reason, there are few tools to help nurses and other frontline health workers gauge and treat pain, much less drive hospital-wide improvements, said University of Utah nursing professor Susan Beck, who has set out to change that.

She and other researchers have developed a questionnaire to bring patients’ experiences to bear on pain care. Tested on different groups of hospital patients this year, the Pain Care Quality (PainCQ) survey confirmed pain is a common problem, Beck said. “Too many patients in our hospitals report having severe pain, and that’s not OK.”

Now Beck is joining with the University of Kansas to hone the survey and administer it to as many as 15,000 acute-care patients at 100 hospitals nationwide. Researchers will use the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) to collect and manage the data.

The end goal: create a set of pain quality indicators and Web-based tool kit to guide nursing clinical practices.

The 18-month project is funded by a $300,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
“Every nursing unit will get their data, and we’ll target the lower-performing units for improvement,” said Beck.

“Nurses aren’t solely responsible for relieving patients’ pain. But they’re on the front line and have to be advocates for their patients.”