Healthcare is unlike other industries. It deals with life or death situations and is uniquely human-centered and personal. People may put up with a lackluster retail staff when they are buying a pair of socks, but they understandably expect more when their well-being is in the hands of a healthcare team.
Many healthcare organizations are creating and using employee communication apps to help strengthen communication among healthcare team members, cut out inefficiency and duplication of effort, and generally help employees feel more engaged with their work. Here is why such an app can drive patient satisfaction and greater revenues.
Four Positive Consequences of Better Employee Engagement
Multiple studies have shown the correlation between better healthcare employee engagement and better patient outcomes. Specifically, a well-engaged healthcare team brings about four important outcomes:
- Better service
- Fewer hospital-acquired conditions in patients
- Lower staff absenteeism
- Higher staff retention
It is clear to see how these four outcomes reduce healthcare spending, and of course, a lower chance of acquiring an infection or other hospital-acquired condition is important to patients. It is easier for employees to devote their energies to providing outstanding patient care if they have access to empowering communication tools, like the employee communication app.
Better Patient Satisfaction Ultimately Means Higher Revenues
Better patient satisfaction directly leads to patient loyalty. If patients are happy with the care they received at a given healthcare facility, they are likelier to return there rather than find a new provider for their healthcare services. Satisfied patients are also likelier to become advocates for their provider if a friend or family member should need healthcare services.
Moreover, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS) is increasingly tying provider reimbursement to patient satisfaction scores, so it is in a provider’s financial best interests to ensure the staff is engaged in their work and committed to outstanding patient care.
Specifics of Employee Engagement That Drive Patient Satisfaction
“Engaged employees” provide better services, but what helps an employee to be engaged in his or her work? In a hospital environment, the following five building blocks of employee engagement have been shown to correlate with increased levels of patient satisfaction:
- Employees have the tools, resources, and equipment they need to carry out tasks.
- They have opportunities to excel in their everyday work.
- The employer’s mission shows that they value the work of the healthcare staff.
- Commitment and engagement run throughout the staff and individual work teams.
- The employer offers long-term opportunities for employees to learn and grow.
Putting it differently, employers must not place any obstacles in the way of carrying out work processes. They must value motivation and show it through everyday communication, achievement recognition, and a demonstration of their own motivation to succeed. Finally, they must make it clear to employees that their jobs are not “dead end” jobs, but can lead to greater responsibilities and rewards.
Engagement Must Lead to Action
Employee engagement is far more than just ensuring everyone has an employee communication app so they are up-to-date with the latest management directives. Engagement is a two-way street, so employers must use the employee communication app to listen to employees as well as deliver content to them. An employee communication app does little good unless the employees who are expected to be engaged in their work are able to:
- Plan for direct action that improves engagement and patient care
- Carry out specific actions toward those ends
- See measurable progress as a direct result of their and their colleagues’ engagement
Employee engagement cannot simply be a buzzword or management fad if it is to drive the kind of results that healthcare providers want, namely better patient satisfaction.
It is little wonder why so many healthcare providers use hubEngage as their platform for the creation of a customized employee communication app tailored to the healthcare environment. They can deliver content to employees in a variety of formats and direct content based on an employee’s job role, shift, or location. Additionally, they can solicit feedback and make use of the extensive analytics capabilities that are built into the hubEngage platform.
If you are interested in driving better patient satisfaction and higher levels of employee engagement in your healthcare business, hubEngage invites you to contact us at any time to learn more.