Assess and Improve Your Healthcare Organization
The patient may be the heart of the hospital, but nurses, doctors, and adjunct employees are its lifeblood. As a result, it is equally important to understand both patient satisfaction and employee engagement. While a hospital is primarily a center of healing and care, it is also a business; a business in which job performance can mean life or death and revenue is particularly critical to providing a certain standard of care. By understanding the factors that motivate and engage hospital employees, as well as the elements of care patient’s value, a hospital can ensure it is meeting the needs of the people it serves.
On the patient side, a survey can monitor satisfaction levels to ensure care standards are maintained at a certain level. Patient surveys can also be used to identify possible areas of financial waste or areas where greater patient contact and interaction is needed. A well-crafted patient questionnaire thoroughly assesses the patient’s experience and provides solid, accurate data to be used to develop change initiatives. Ultimately, a questionnaire can improve the quality of treatment while simultaneously increasing the financial profitability of the hospital.
On the employee side, a hospital survey can ensure that physicians have access to the critical development opportunities that allow them to stay abreast of changes in the medical field. It can also ensure both physicians and nurses receive the support they need to perform their jobs well. Furthermore, a hospital employee survey can identify whether there are any communication or coordination issues among departments that may prevent the delivery of quality services in a timely fashion. If a facility has ineffective procedures in place, it is difficult to provide quality care. A well-designed employee survey helps hospital administrators address inefficient policies and procedures while simultaneously identifying the factors that drive employee commitment to the organization.
NBRI has a vast amount of experience conducting research for both hospital employees and patients. Areas that are critical to address during this process include:
- The patient experience.An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: using a survey to identify critical patient concerns, and then taking actions to address those concerns, is the best way to ensure minor problems do not become permanent complications. Asking patients directly about their experiences can give a hospital the information it needs to address inefficiencies or mismanagement of resources. A survey can also gather information about problems that were not reported through official channels that may have a negative impact on the health and well-being of the patient.
- Physician and employee behavior.From the patient side, a survey helps a healthcare organization identify employees who have gone above and beyond their call of duty while calling out those individuals who provided substandard care. From the employee side, a health care survey of personnel has the potential to give a voice to every physician, nurse, specialist, technician, custodian, and clerical worker in the hospital. By addressing employee concerns at all levels, a survey provides a hospital with valuable information to achieve continuous improvement.
- Communications.Medical errors, often caused by poor communication, can cost lives. A hospital survey can highlight areas where communication breakdowns occur, and allow your organization to take immediate action to rectify any problems. When various specialists, physicians, and nurses are empowered with knowledge that comes from more effective communication, the quality of care delivered to the patient increases. This helps ensure the right dosage of medication is administered at the right time, and all vested parties can respond appropriately to any crises or changes in treatment plans.
- Friendliness, helpfulness, and wait time.The perception of quality care is strongly linked to the provision of assistance in a timely manner by clinicians with a good bedside manner. A hospital survey can reveal if average wait times are too high, or if clinicians and staff are not communicating with the patient in an appropriate manner. Ultimately, the level of information a patient receives about their treatment will have a strong impact on their perception of the hospital as a center of competence. For this reason, understanding how individual staff members impact patient perceptions is of paramount importance.
- Cleanliness.Hygiene is one of the most basic expectations of a hospital; however, the increasing prevalence of hospital-acquired bacterial infections, such as MRSA, reveals that standards of hygiene are not always being met by employees. A survey can reveal whether all employees have adequate knowledge of hygiene standards, and the extent to which they believe those standards are followed by their coworkers. Patient data in this area may further illuminate any areas where cleanliness and hygiene are not meeting standards.
- Billing.Clear, transparent billing practices should be the objective of any hospital, particularly when healthcare can be costly. By surveying patients, it is possible to understand whether billing practices are perceived as fair and just, or whether certain explanations or policies are perceived as unclear. Ultimately, a patient satisfaction survey can help you rectify any potential misunderstandings and avoid any losses due to non-payment or unrecoverable debts.
- Patient support services.A patient survey can also help you understand how you can improve the quality of a stay for both the patient and their family. Are long-term accommodations of suitable quality? What about the quality of follow-up care and rehabilitation? The more information you have on ancillary patient needs, such as family support and after-care, the better the quality of services you are capable of providing.
- Dietary services.Nutrition is an essential component of patient rehabilitation. For that reason, food services must be able to provide meals that meet patient dietary restrictions and nutritional needs. An unappetizing meal has the potential to exacerbate a negative patient experience, leading to a decrease in one’s willingness to recommend the hospital as a quality institution. Likewise, a positive experience with food can help a patient start on the road to recovery.
- Hospital website.Does your hospital’s website educate or frustrate? Providing all the information patients need to make educated decisions about your services and their stay with you will help manage patient expectations and ensure you start off on the right foot. A survey can help you know if you are meeting patient expectations in this area.
NBRI is highly experienced in the administration of hospital surveys, and as a result we know the right questions to ask of both patients and employees to ensure you obtain meaningful, actionable data. Our ClearPath Analytics allow us to accurately identify areas of organizational excellence and areas where change is needed. NBRI can even let you know how your survey results compare to other hospitals through the use of benchmarking data, which can give you an understanding of where your scores fall in relation to others.
Initiating change can be difficult, but fortunately, with our ClearPath Action process, it doesn’t have to be. Our Action Training process guides you through the steps to take after the close of the survey to ensure you take appropriate action to address the employee and patient concerns that emerged from the survey. By following this process, you target the most important items for change while expediting the speed of that change.
Every hospital wants to deliver quality healthcare, but in order for that to happen processes must be in place to ensure medical professionals have the knowledge, skills, and resources to deliver world-class patient care. When the quality of care escalates, patient satisfaction levels will increase, errors will decrease, and employee morale will surge, creating innumerable benefits for the patients the hospital serves.
When you hire NBRI, you’re hiring more than a company to conduct survey research. You’re hiring a business partner with a sincere interest in the health and success of your organization.
Give us a call. We’re confident that you’ll find us a valuable partner capable of fulfilling your survey research needs, and exceeding your expectations.
Healthcare Survey Case Study
A West Coast Hospital with over 1,800 employees contacted NBRI for assistance in assessing the thinking of its employees. Being a leading healthcare provider, the client understands the importance of routinely evaluating the psychological health of its employee base. In addition, it is a well-known fact that hospital employee surveys are a best practice of global leaders.
The NBRI standard hospital employee survey was deployed by paper over a two-week period in order to cover all shifts, as well as weekend and weekday employees. Job title was another important demographic segregation of the data. A 93% response rate provided preliminary indications of an involved and committed workforce.
NBRI ClearPath Analytics identified a forbearing management style at work within the Hospital as the driver of 48% of all survey items. This single root cause was driving employees to be forthcoming about reporting patient errors, which in turn lowered employee stress and organizational liability, and enabled management to take corrective systemic action and reduce the number of errors made.
NBRI recommendations to leverage this positive finding were followed, resulting in increased scores of the root cause as well as all items driven by it within one year of the initial assessment. Indeed, when asked if employees would recommend the Hospital to family and friends for healthcare, the scores were above the 90th percentile for all job titles at the second assessment, an increase of over 15 benchmarking percentiles.
Standard Healthcare Survey Topics
- Bedside Manner
- Competitive Position
- Control Systems
- Customer Service
- Health Care Delivery
- Health Care Products
- Health Care Quality
- Health Care Services
- Hospital Behavior
- Hospital Image
- Invoicing & Statements
- Job Training
- Patient Loyalty
- Physician Loyalty
- Professional Conduct
- Project Management
- Staff Behavior
Healthcare Survey Related White Papers
Research is in our blood. It’s who we are. It’s what we do. Our white papers highlight our philosophy on areas of business impacted by survey research.
See for yourself:
Are You Engaged? – You or someone you know goes to work, they get through the day and pick up their check, but they fail to feel connected to their work and to the organization in which they work. Sound familiar? The business diagnosis for this malady is low employee engagement.
Patient Satisfaction Surveys Should Focus on Meaningful Information – In today’s highly competitive market, tracking patient satisfaction levels is absolutely critical to practice success. The patient satisfaction survey is an increasingly essential and useful tracking tool. Meaningful customer satisfaction surveys designed for a patient target a variety of operational issues ranging from wait time to physician style and demeanor.
View all Customer Survey White Papers by NBRI.
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Torrance Memorial Medical Center
The NBRI survey results are very valuable to our organization.
Baylor Health Care System
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