ASC Communications, Inc.

Are you undermining your patient experience strategy

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H ospitals are prioritizing workforce management, but they are not yet viewing it as an integral part of their patient experience strategy, nor are they supporting that strategy with workforce automation technology. Survey responses suggest hospitals have ample opportunity to better leverage workforce management tactics to support and improve the patient experience. For instance, even though staff skills and employee engagement were seen as two top contributors to the patient experience, hospitals are not optimizing these tactics. Only 13 percent of respondents see talent management and competency development as a primary goal for their workforce management strategy, and less than 1 in 5 respondents use automation to manage employee engagement. Additionally, few hospital leaders correlated overtime with the patient experience despite the known safety risks of 40-plus- hour work weeks and 13-plus-hour shifts. One of the most oft-cited reasons for the lack of automation is a lack of awareness about available resources for workforce management. One COO from a 250-bed hospital in the South said the options aren't readily apparent to him, and his organization is not using automation or data effectively as a result. Healthcare organizations cannot rely on the same workforce management strategies or tactics they did in the past. Strategies were traditionally focused on reducing labor costs, which was accomplished through overtime management and other tactics. But now, with patient experience rising in importance and becoming one of healthcare organizations' top goals, workforce management strategies must change. They must better account for patients' safety, clinical outcomes and engagement in their care. This leaves plenty of opportunity for organizations to better leverage automation software to enable data-driven staffing decisions that keep costs in check while improving the patient experience. CONCLUSION 1 Mchugh, Matthew et al. (2011). Nurses' Widespread Job Dissatisfaction, Burnout, And Frustration With Health Benefits Signal Problems For Patient Care. "Health Affairs, 30, no.2: 202-210. 2 McConnell C.R. (1999). Staff turnover: Occasional friend, frequent foe, and continuing frustration. Health Care Manager, 8; 1-13. 3 Jones, C.B. (2005). The costs of nursing turnover, part 2: Application of the Nursing Turnover Cost Calculation Methodology. Journal of Nursing Administration, 35(1), 41-49. 4 Herman, B. (2013, December 10). 10 Statistics on Hospital Labor Costs as a Percentage of Operating Revenue. Becker's Hospital Review. 5 Olds, D. M., & Clarke, S. P. (2010). The Effect of Work Hours on Adverse Events and Errors in Health Care. Journal of Safety Research, 41(2), 153–162. 6 Bae, Sung-Heui. (2013). Presence of Nurse Mandatory Overtime Regulations and Nurse And Patient Outcomes. Nursing Economics. 31, no. 2: 59-89. 7 Stimpfel AW, Sloane DM, Aiken LH. (2012) The longer the shifts for hospital nurses, the higher the levels of burnout and patient dissatisfaction. Health Affairs. 31, 11.

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