Is there a relationship between strong employee engagement in the healthcare industry and positive patient outcomes? Could an employee communication app actually help save lives? Consider this.
The healthcare industry has always been subject to stresses that most other industries do not encounter. In addition to the many regulations that govern healthcare delivery, providers must also work with third-party payers like Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurers to ensure they are compensated fully for the work they do.
Furthermore, in recent years, the advent of value-based healthcare reimbursement has put greater emphasis on patient satisfaction. How do healthcare providers ensure good patient satisfaction and more importantly, good patient health outcomes? Frontline staff like nurses are usually the key.
Nurses Are the Key to Best Outcomes, Patient Satisfaction
Nurses represent the “face” of healthcare to those who are admitted to hospitals and are the key “people factor” determining patient satisfaction. Study after study has found that the more engaged and committed the nursing staff, the higher patient satisfaction, and the better the patient health outcome.
Excellent engagement by nursing staff reduces mortality and reduces the number of unnecessary complications, and naturally, these lead to higher patient satisfaction. Nurses who are engaged are proud of their organization, believe it is committed to quality and safety, and consider themselves to be members of a strong healthcare team that is dedicated to patient care.
Nurse Engagement Eclipses Number of Nurses for Care Quality
Much has been written about the nursing shortage, and while ensuring nursing staff levels are sufficient is absolutely critical, beyond a certain point, having more nurses does not correlate with better care. A Gallup study found that the engagement level of nurses was the top predictor of reduced patient mortality – even more so than having a higher nurse-to-patient ratio.
When it comes to reduction in patient complications, engagement depends upon a team-focused approach to healthcare with minimal use of contract nurses, who may disrupt team functioning despite their necessity in cases of short staffing. In other words, healthcare providers should focus on having enough nurses on the team and helping them remain engaged in their work.
Top Drivers of Engagement in Healthcare Environment
A Canadian study of engagement and hospital performance listed the following top drivers of engagement in the healthcare workplace:
- Trust in the employer
- Opportunities to make improvements
- A feeling of being valued
- Commitment by senior management
- Clear goals and objectives
- Feeling of being part of a strong team
- Employer promotion of employee well-being
- Good work-life balance
- Supervisors that will step in to help when needed
- Adequate resources and equipment to perform the work
Many of these drivers can be improved upon when employers develop and deploy a custom employee communication app.
The Employee Communication App and Engagement
Healthcare providers are often busy, and the work may be unpredictable. This can hinder good communication. That is why many healthcare providers invest in a healthcare-specific employee communication app to drive employee engagement. With an app, employers can push relevant content, notify staff of advancement opportunities, deliver training content, solicit employee feedback, and help nurses and supervisors remain in communication with each other to minimize misunderstandings and improve patient outcomes.
With hubEngage, healthcare employers can develop and deploy their own customized employee communication app so that employee mobile devices become employees’ trusted ally in remaining engaged with work. Your valued nurses and other staff can receive push notifications and updates, check schedules, access training modules, and interact with their fellow healthcare team members. With built-in analytics, management can develop important insights and address problems early, before they can become entrenched.
Did you know you can try the hubEngage app for free? There is simply no reason not to learn more about this exciting, effective employee engagement tool and see for yourself the benefits to your employees and your patients.