Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Hampton

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Andrew Cooley

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Butler


Background: Inadequate communication can lead to poor quality of care and patient outcomes. Physician-nurse dyad partnerships have been shown to increase effective communication but there is a lack of data to show the impact these dyads have on dyad members’ perceptions about patient safety, work engagement and quality patient outcome measures.

Purpose: This purpose of this project was to determine if a physician-nurse dyad structure in an inpatient psychiatric hospital would lead to improved participant perception about patient safety, work engagement, and patient quality outcomes.

Methods: A quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design was used. Participant perceptions related to patient safety, work engagement, and quality patient outcomes were obtained prior to implementation of the dyads and were compared to data and outcomes obtained one-year post implementation. Employee surveys were used to measure dyad participant perception of patient safety and work engagement. This survey included four employee patient safety-related items, in addition to the 17 item Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES). Patient outcome quality measures for each unit, which included falls, use of restraints, and medication errors, were retrieved from the quality department in order to compare pre- and post- implementation outcomes.

Results: An increase was noted in participant perception scores related to patient safety and work engagement, although the difference was not significant. Patient quality outcomes improved on units where individual dyad pairs completed performance improvement initiatives. The small sample size of 11 participants could have contributed to the lack of statistical change.

Conclusion: The findings from this study suggest working in a dyad partnership increases work engagement scores and a focus on patient safety. Patient quality outcome results varied which may be contributed to the short duration of this study.