In a healthcare setting, your patient’s experience is defined by your employees, but finding and keeping exceptional frontline employees can be challenging. Deloitte’s report, “The Value of Patient Experience,” finds that a highly engaged staff likely boosts patient experience, translating into better business performance. In fact, the authors note, “Patient experience scores pertaining to interactions with nurses have the strongest association with hospital financial outcomes.”
Great talent may be hard to find in many industries, but in healthcare the situation is acute. According to a CareerBuilder survey, 46 percent of healthcare employers said the role they struggled to fill above all others was that of qualified registered nurses.
The Deloitte authors write, “Focusing on the commitment of hospital staff—nurses in particular—to consistent and productive engagement with patients and caregivers could assist hospitals in transitioning to a true patient-centered culture while also potentially improving quality and financial performance.”
In a competitive landscape, even systems like finance and HR that don’t seem directly related to patient care can have an impact.
However, having to deal with paperwork and navigate clunky, outdated systems can take healthcare workers’ time away from patient care, and even make it difficult to find and retain a modern workforce. In addition, as U.S. healthcare organizations struggle with the contradictory forces of healthcare cost reduction and an aging population in need of increasingly advanced (and expensive) treatment options, digital transformation is becoming imperative for an organization’s survival, according to the Deloitte authors.
In such a competitive landscape, even systems that don’t seem directly related to patient care can have an impact. Take, for example, the HR system—the one where they manage their personal data, request time off, and have formal communications with the organization’s leaders about promotions and other career opportunities. Harried healthcare workers who have to grapple with outmoded HR systems when entering a time off request while simultaneously grabbing a bite to eat between seeing patients aren’t going to enter that next patient interaction in a sunny mood. Let’s take a look at the lifecycle of an employee, and how a modern HR system can make a difference.
Recruiting. The initial interaction with your organization may be through the application process. Clunky, hard-to-navigate hiring processes sap the enthusiasm of the talent you’re hoping to attract. The best candidates, whether top-notch clinicians or younger nurses who’ve grown up as digital natives, expect a simple application process, preferably one they can do on their mobile phone.
Onboarding. This is where you get a sense of how things really are. Without an efficient, clear, step-by-step onboarding process, a new healthcare worker’s first impression might not be a good one. The Society for Human Resources maintains that good onboarding can help employers acclimate, engage, and, most importantly, retain new workers.
Self-service. Whether setting up their direct deposit, enrolling in benefits, or requesting time off—on mobile or on the desktop—all workers want to feel in control of their own information.
Career growth. Once healthcare workers have settled into their positions, what will keep them there? Self-directed experiences like opportunity graphs let them chart their own course in the organization, which is especially important considering that Deloitte found that promotion/job advancement is the most important reason for healthcare employees to stay with their current employers.
Continuous feedback and recognition. This fosters a productive, ongoing dialogue between healthcare workers and their managers, and can help both longtime and new employees unlock their potential. Healthcare leaders can also solicit instant feedback from groups of employees on pressing organization- or department-wide issues, potentially heading off larger disputes before they happen.
Bringing Finance and HR Together
Having a modern HR system experience is important, but even better is one that’s unified with a finance system and lets management oversee the full hire-to-retire lifecycle in one place. The use of prescriptive analytics to identify top performers and key skillsets helps healthcare organizations proactively retain their most critical talent. And, vital to both financial performance and employee morale, management can better understand staffing needs to minimize overtime while using external staffing services only as needed to support patient care and lower costs.
Having to deal with paperwork and navigate clunky, outdated systems can take healthcare workers’ time away from patient care.
Modern finance and HR systems are just one piece—albeit a vital one—of a healthcare organization’s digital transformation. But, considering the strong correlation between high employee engagement and patient satisfaction—and thus, in the age of value based reimbursement and increased competition for patients, financial outcomes—finding, quickly onboarding, and inspiring the best patient-facing healthcare workers to stay and grow with your organization is of utmost importance.