When people think of safety in the workplace, their minds tend to drift to images of construction workers wearing hard hats or researchers walking around in giant hazmat suits. Sure, these are very important safety practices, but the truth is, there is so much more to safety than just wearing protective coverings. This is especially true in the field of healthcare, where if proper safety protocols aren’t followed, injuries occur, diseases spread, and patients die.
Throughout C.A. Short Company’s 80-year history, we’ve noticed one thing that leads to safer environments more than any other component – a Culture of Engagement. We aren’t alone in our findings either. Gallup’s revered annual report, State of the American Workplace, recently found there are 70% fewer employee safety incidents when employees are engaged. It turns out, your workers aren’t the only ones safer. The comprehensive study also found that patient safety incidents were reduced by 58%.
These are just a few of the ways healthcare providers become safer places when they establish a Culture of Engagement. Let’s take a closer look at a number of other areas that improve as employee engagement increases.
Creating a Safer Environment -- For Your Team And Your Patients
Reduced HACs (Hospital-Acquired Conditions)
One of the biggest liabilities for any hospital is Hospital-Acquired Conditions or, as they are more commonly referred to, HACs. HACs create serious problems that can lead to increased readmission rates, the spread of serious diseases and a major rise in mortality rates. Not only is this terrible for patients and demoralizing for your healthcare team, it’s also catastrophic for your bottom line.
In 2015 alone, the federal government withheld $371 million in Medicare payments from 721 hospitals because of their high rates of HACs. That same year, over 2,600 hospitals were fined due to having too many readmissions. This is what happens when a company fails to engage their team. But, when a Culture of Engagement exists, the outcomes are much different. Readmission rates drop by over 3% and HACs reduce by 13.3%, leading to lower costs, increased profits, and – most importantly – more lives saved.
Increased Worker Safety
In addition to increasing patient safety by 15%, employee engagement also leads to safer working environments for your healthcare workers. As we referenced earlier, employee engagement can lead to 70% fewer safety incidents across all industries. The healthcare field is no different. When Gallup partnered with a small hospital to increase the engagement level of their team, safety incidents plummeted. In addition to reducing safety incidents across the board, they also found workers’ compensation claims to drop by over 60%. Again, being safe saves!
Reduced Medical Errors & Mortality Rates
Medical errors are a major problem in the United States, and that’s putting it lightly. Last year, Dr. Martin Makary, of the prestigious John Hopkins Medicine, led a team of researchers to find out exactly how many lives were cost due to preventable medical errors. The figure is astonishing.
According to Dr. Makary’s research, over 250,000 people die from medical errors each year. That makes medical errors the number three leading cause of death in the United States, just under heart disease and cancer. But, when an organization champions a Culture of Engagement – one that ensures even the patients are engaged – medical errors reduce drastically, by as much as 50%.
Independent research also shows a direct correlation between employee engagement and reduced mortality rates. For every 10% increase in engagement, mortality rates are reduced by nearly 2.5%. This makes perfect sense, as the single greatest variation of mortality rates across hospitals is the engagement level of the nursing team.
A Safer World Starts Today
From nurses to patients to shareholders, when your healthcare team is engaged, everyone wins. Still, so many healthcare providers are operating without a true Culture of Engagement, and it’s costing them big time. That’s where C.A. Short Company enters the picture.
Our team of dedicated professionals have worked hand-in-hand with major healthcare providers for decades. Over that time, we have crafted customized engagement strategies tailored specifically to the healthcare industry. Quite simply, it’s what we do.
If you think your organization is ready to start saving more lives (and money) by creating a Culture of Engagement, or if you just have a question about how your company can get the ball rolling, feel free to contact us today. We can schedule a time that’s convenient for you. After all, saving lives isn’t a 9-5 job.
C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here.