Do you want to create a safer healthcare environment, all the while increasing your ROI? Then you’re in luck! A new report from the Harvard Business Review sheds light on how, exactly, healthcare in the United States has become safer, of higher quality, and more profitable for shareholders! By putting patient’s first, healthcare providers saw major gains across the board. It turns out, employee engagement was the key all along.
The Importance of Patient Experience
When you compare the quality of healthcare in the United States to that of developing – and even many developed -- nations, the difference couldn’t be clearer. We have one of the best healthcare systems on Earth, and as a result, have been world leaders in the field for decades. While this is an amazing accomplishment, it also made it much easier to miss areas that needed improvement. This was certainly the case for many providers leading up to the 1990s.
In 1999, however, everything changed. That was the year the Institute of Medicine released an explosive report titled “To Err Is Human.” The report found that nearly 100,000 people unnecessarily die in hospitals every year, purely as a result of preventable errors. The healthcare community was rattled.
Soon after, the healthcare industry began analyzing hundreds of metrics to account for gaps in safety, quality of care, timeliness, efficiency, etc. And, out of these hundreds of metrics, there is one that is tied to success more than any other – a positive patient experience.
Healthcare organizations that focused on patient experience saw vast improvement in a number of key areas: their hospitals became safer, their timeliness improved, their patients’ quality of care increased and, unsurprisingly, they saw a rise in profits.
In fact, the financial margins for the hospitals in the top quartile of patients’ likelihood to recommend were nearly 5 percentage points higher.
Increasing Patient Experience via Employee Engagement
It’s clear that by focusing on the patient’s experience, we can improve nearly all areas of operation. The question then becomes “how do we improve a patient’s experience?” The answer is relatively direct – by increasing Employee Engagement.
The Harvard Business Review isn’t alone in their findings. After numerous studies, Gallup published a series of reports entitled, “Engagement Unlocks Patient Satisfaction Potential.” The reports were based on Gallup analyzing hospitals over a three-year span, and the results were unanimous -- employee engagement is critical to improving the patient experience.
These reports support the Harvard Business Review’s Dr. Thomas H. Lee’s assessment, where he examined patient experience, safety and financial performance:
“This work involved dozens of pair analyses that collectively show that organizations with greater engagement measured in all these ways have better performance…The association between the various outcomes and the various measures of engagement is most consistent with the conclusion that engaged physicians, nurses, and other personnel — people who are proud of their organization, who believe it is committed to quality and safety, and who consider teamwork a core value — perform better.”
Improving Employee engagement in the Healthcare Industry
OK, so now that we know how to improve the patient experience, it’s critical to look at how we can improve employee engagement within the healthcare industry. This is something we’ve spent years researching, analyzing and developing with our own healthcare clients.
As a result, we have created winning engagement strategies that improve employee retention, patient care & experience, safety culture and even the ROI of various healthcare facilities. Want to learn more about how you can increase employee engagement at your office or hospital?
You can get some great tips for free now by downloading our complimentary White Paper, “5 Tips to Engage Your Healthcare Team!” This will help you get started developing a general framework for a culture of engagement.
If you need further assistance on this topic, or want to speak with an expert to develop a comprehensive healthcare employee engagement plan, please contact us today.
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.