Employee Engagement Reduces Mortality Rates Significantly

The long hours in school…the even longer hours at work. All that time you spent putting others first wasn’t so you could get rich and work a comfy schedule. No! You entered healthcare to make a difference in the world, to help strangers in need, and – above all else – to save lives!

Along the way, you’ve probably had some hurdles – a grueling schedule, patients – angry at their condition – taking it out on you, maybe even a boss who failed to recognize your value and sacrifices. And, yet, you stayed with it – all so you could be part of something bigger.  

So, it’s understandable that when we travel around the nation to meet with major healthcare providers, physicians, and nurses, we’re often asked, “How can we save even more lives?” The answer? By creating and fostering a true Culture of Engagement. When your team is actively engaged in their jobs, the quality of your healthcare skyrockets and mortality rates plummet. This is especially true for nurses, but we’ll get into that in greater detail later. 

For now, let’s just take a look at some overall statistics. 

mortality rate & Engagement

The link between employee engagement and mortality rates within the healthcare industry couldn’t be clearer, especially after the widely-praised 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, To Err is Human, found that nearly 100,000 people die every year in hospitals in the U.S. from completely preventable errors.

In the nearly twenty years following the IOM’s groundbreaking report, things have actually gotten worse. Last year, a team of researchers at the world-renowned John Hopkins Medicine discovered that more than 250,000 people die from medical errors each year. That’s more than every other cause of death, except for heart disease and cancer, respectively.

The good news is, there is a cure for reducing/preventing medical errors! When a workforce is actively engaged, an organization experiences, on increase in the quality of service they provide,  fewer safety incidents, a 26% increase in productivity, and a drastic reduction in absenteeism.

When you work within the healthcare industry, you are acutely aware of just how crucial these elements are when it comes to saving lives! If your team members call out, your shorthanded, when just one more nurse could be the difference between life and death. If a physician is disengaged and the quality of their work is diminished, there can be severe consequences. The list goes on and on and on and…

Luckily, there is a flipside! When your team is actively engaged and working towards the same shared goals, not only will your patients be healthier and happier, you will also see a significant reduction in mortality rates – the whole reason you likely entered this industry.

To see this in action, you need look no further than Michael A West’s (Lancaster University) and Jeremy F. Dawson’s (University of Sheffield) widely-cited report, Employee Engagement and NHS Performance. The survey found a direct correlation between increased employee engagement and decreased mortality rates – for every 10% increase in engagement, mortality rates reduced by nearly 2.5%.

When you take into account that 44% of the hospital workforce report being disengaged, it becomes clear that we can – and must – save many more lives every year. 

The Biggest Factor in Reducing Mortality

Anyone who has ever worked in the healthcare industry is well aware that nurses are the backbone of any organization. So, it should come as no surprise that they are critical to the reduction of mortality rates. In fact, that’s a bit of an understatement.

A Gallup survey, which analyzed outcomes at more than 200 hospitals, found that the engagement levels of nurses are the single greatest predictor of mortality variations across hospitals. Being engaged reduced mortality rates far more than other important factors, including even the ratio of nurses to patients, as well as the percentage of overtime worked by staff. These astonishing findings aren’t limited to the Gallup research either.

A major survey conducted by a team from the University of Pennsylvania sought to determine why certain hospitals have better outcomes than others. The research examined over 550 hospitals in multiple states and realized a major trend – the odds of dying at a hospital with an engaged nursing team are 20% lower than other comparable hospitals.


Make a Difference – Engage Your Team Today!

By now, it should be clear that employee engagement is critical to the success of any healthcare organization. And with a new Kronos Incorporated survey showing that nurses are disengaging and burning out at alarming rates, now is the time to act! But, if you’re still not convinced of the importance of employee engagement in the healthcare industry, you should probably check out this resource, Employee Engagement Matters (a lot!) in Healthcare.

If you’re ready to start saving lives now, you’ve come to the right place. C.A. Short Company has specialized in employee engagement for nearly a century – 80 years, to be exact. And over that time, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with award-winning healthcare providers to craft amazing engagement strategies that are unique to the healthcare industry.

If you have any questions about engagement, are looking for new and innovative ideas, or just want to see a demo of how we’ve accomplished amazing results for our healthcare clients, feel free to contact us today. We’d love to chat about how we can help you save lives…and money.

Until then, continue being awesome!

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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.

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