Taylor Healthcare Blog

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Dissatisfied employees can impact patient satisfaction


Chelsea Youngquist
Director of Marketing

Improving the safety of your patients is a top priority and the baseline for a good patient experience. You can’t provide patient satisfaction and exceptional experiences if you can’t ensure safety. There are serious consequences:

Many healthcare organizations are making progress. A recent study reports that over 11 years, 21 percent of hospitals showed sizeable improvements in patient safety. However, there is more work to be done. In the same study, 7 percent of hospitals saw their survey scores worsen, and 71 percent remained the same.

One of the most important opportunities for improvement in healthcare organizations is employee engagement and satisfaction. A Gallup study of 200 hospitals found that the engagement level of nurses was the number-one variable correlating to mortality.

“Examples of high levels of engagement include:

  • The engaged hospital worker who makes eye contact with all visitors and escorts lost family members to their destinations
  • The engaged caregivers who never forget to wash their hands and check IV lines
  • The engaged worker who notices the yellow “fall risk” bracelet on a patient in the lobby and helps her back to her room
  • The engaged caregivers who listen, unrushed, as patients ask about their medications and discharge orders
  • The engaged nurses who always round on the hour

Engaged caregivers make fewer mistakes with the administration of medications.

These actions have a direct impact on the safety of patients, reducing frustration, medication errors, and infection risk.”

A review of employee engagement and clinical outcomes at the NHS in England showed that as employee engagement increased, there was a drop in MRSA infections. The report showed that employee engagement in healthcare could cut mortality by 7 percent.

“Engaging Your Staff,” DoH and NHS

Absenteeism, turnover and costs go down as employees are more engaged. Healthcare organizations that successfully improve engagement also see increases in employee retention, patient satisfaction, loyalty, HCAHPS scores and revenue.

“The ROI of Employee Engagement in Hospitals,” Forbes, 2015

Many healthcare organizations experience higher levels of employee engagement and associated benefits when they implement effective rewards and recognition programs. According to a 2013 Cicero Group article called, “The Effect of Performance Recognition on Employee Engagement,” 78 percent of employees report being highly engaged when they experience strong recognition. Only 34 percent report being engaged when they experience weak recognition.

The majority of organizations experience difficulty in calculating the ROI for their rewards and recognition program. Consider a strategic approach that allows you to tie outcomes back to program investment. 

There are many examples of successfully implemented rewards and recognition programs, highlighting increased levels of employee engagement and patient satisfaction and safety as well as lower turnover rates and costs.


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