- New data released by Press Ganey show healthcare organizations with high workforce engagement score higher on industry safety grades and patient satisfaction ratings.
- The information — released in a new white paper, Accelerating Transformation: Translating Strategy into Action — is part of a roadmap aimed at helping hospitals create organizational changes that speed the shift to value-based and patient-centered care.
- Key steps in this transformation include aligning organizational units under an enterprisewide vision, building a workplace culture that adapts quickly to change and adopting an integrated data and management strategy.
With shrinking volume, lower reimbursement and rising consumerism, hospitals and health systems are under enormous pressure to stay competitive in a changing landscape. To meet the challenge, organizations are restructuring operations, leveraging interdependencies across functional units and forming new business partnerships.
"There is no shortcut or 'easy button' on the journey to delivering patient-centered care," Patrick Ryan, executive chairman of Press Ganey, said in a statement. "For healthcare transformation to occur, leaders must gain a deep understanding of patients' and caregivers' needs and establish an integrated strategy to meet those needs reliably every day. An aligned culture working toward a shared vision is the single most important aspect to achieving transformation."
One of the clearest paths to improved performance is workforce engagement, the white paper suggests.
Press Ganey researchers analyzed workforce engagement data, Leapfrog hospital safety grades and Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems performance data for 253 healthcare facilities in 2018 to gauge the impact on patient safety and experience outcomes. Considerably more organizations with a large share of highly engaged workforce units earned top Leapfrog safety grades compared with those that had fewer highly engaged units — and the reverse was also true.
For example, 54% of facilities where more than half the units have the top level of engagement (Tier 1) earned a safety Grade A. By contrast, just one-fourth of facilities with less than a quarter of high engagement units got an A grade. A top grade was also earned by 45% of facilities with less than a quarter of lowest-level engagement units (Tier 3) and 17% of those in which more than half were lowest-level.
Similar findings were seen on HCAHPS star ratings, with 31% of facilities with the highest levels of engagement in more than half their work units earned a 4 or 5 star rating. "To optimize opportunity for performance gains and prepare the workforce for transformation, improving engagement of Tier 3 work units should be a top priority," according to the paper.
In a case study, Dallas-based Parkland Health and Hospital System identified a direct link between scores on the Likelihood to Recommend global patient experience metric and three workforce measures: employee engagement, employee turnover and number of Tier 1 leaders.
Using that information to address workforce issues, over three years the system was able to raise employee engagement nearly 6%, increase the number of Tier 1 leaders from 32 to 122, reduce turnover rates from 18.5% to 15.1% and improve performance on the Likelihood to Recommend rubric from 86.5 to 88.7 for the system overall and from 86.6 to 91.3 for inpatient services.
The paper also highlights the importance of an integrated data and management strategy in propelling transformational change. Critical components of that strategy should include C-suite level buy-in, a governance structure aligned with organizational goals and input of data from multiple system domains.