Employee Engagement Now a Key Priority for Patient Experience Leaders
Results from the 2017 worldwide State of Patient Experience study* reveal that “employee engagement” is now a major priority for healthcare organizations worldwide, based on hearing from more than 1,000 healthcare professionals in the largest study of its kind.
“Patient Experience” –broadly defined to include quality care, patient safety, and great customer service– is still seen as the top priority at health systems both in the U.S. and abroad. This continues a trend wherein patient experience has been viewed as a “top three” organizational priority since 2011, the first year in which our study was conducted.
The big news this year though is that the theme of “engaging employees” has emerged for the first time as one of the top three priorities, coming in a solid number 2. In addition, when asked in an open-ended question what organizations are focusing on to improve the PX, “employee engagement” was a very frequent answer.
It’s clear that hospitals and healthcare organizations recognize the importance of taking care of the staff who take care of patients.
Healthcare professionals, especially those working in high-intensity settings including hospitals, endure abnormal levels of stress as they seek to use the latest advances in medicine, juggle multiple demands, and assure patient safety and comfort.
It should come as no surprise that another finding from this year’s study is that 33% of U.S. hospitals are reporting that employee and physician overload and even “burnout” has become a serious issue. These issues have also been widely reported in the trade press—and are confirmed by friends and colleagues who work in healthcare.
The study shows that there are multiple challenges in achieving better experiences and outcomes for patients—but the results also show that much progress has been made since the initial study seven years ago.
More than ever, PX is becoming part of the culture of the organization, not some separate initiative or “flavor of the month.” Ultimately, that’s good for employees—and for the patients they serve.
*The Beryl Institute 2017 State of Patient Experience Study, conducted in partnership with Catalyst Healthcare Research.