The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has tied Medicare reimbursement to patient satisfaction and safety. While health professionals are mostly responsible for the patient experience, human resources departments can support hospital employees during the caregiving process. Doing so will help to raise patient satisfaction metrics.
A recent survey has uncovered ways human resources departments can improve the patient experience. By increasing employee satisfaction, education, and accountability, you can form a culture that is conducive to high-quality care. Additionally, caregiving institutions can reduce the costs associated with these changes by increasing employee retention and automation. Human resources professionals play a vital role in improving patient satisfaction.
Initiatives That Can Lead to Increased Patient Satisfaction
A recent survey  of healthcare human resources professionals from the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) and HealthcareSource detailed several initiatives HR executives can employ to improve patient satisfaction and safety. Most of the responses focused on care practitioners, meaning healthcare human resources professionals will want to positively engage, train, and care for their staff if they wish to boost patient satisfaction.
Satisfaction: 79% of respondents in the ASHHRA survey claimed that improving employee satisfaction would positively benefit patient care. Additionally, the NDNQI has also found a connection between nurse satisfaction and patient outcomes.
Jennifer L. Kettle of the UNC-Charlotte outlined three factors affecting nurse satisfaction in the workplace:
- Productivity: Nurses that complete high-quality work will feel satisfied with their day.
- Burnout: Overtaxed nurses will feel stressed and unsatisfied with their position.
- Empowerment: Skillset usage and potential advancement positively affect satisfaction.
Cultural Fit: 54% of respondents found that hiring individuals which best fit the hospital’s culture would help to improve patient safety. According to StrategiesforNursingManagers.com and Rosanne Raso, RN, improved recruitment and behavioral interviewing can help hospitals to hire the right nurse for the job.
- Improved Recruitment: Detailed recruitment advertisements can weed out unqualified candidates.
- Behavioral Interviewing: Storytelling interviews can help hiring managers to receive the information they need to determine if a candidate is a good fit for the organization.
Education: 69% of survey respondents believe employee education and development to be a key factor in improving patient safety. Becker’s Hospital Review offers several tips for improving hospital employee training practices. Accounting for different learning styles and boosting interactivity can improve employee education.
- Accounting for Different Learning Styles: Creating lessons that consider verbal, visual, and hands-on learning styles can help all employees to receive the training they need.
- Interactivity: Quizzes, group work, and activities improve employee learning.
Accountability: 68% of respondents believe that improving employee accountability could boost patient satisfaction. TheHiringSite offers several strategies for improving cultural and personal accountability within the hospital workplace.
- Visual Reminders: Posting signs throughout a hospital helps employees to act properly.
- Defining the Culture: Employees must know what their culture is in order to maintain it.
- Zero-Tolerance Expression: Outlining forbidden actions can prevent their recurrence.
Employees must also be responsible for the quality of the care patients are receiving. In a recent report , Joe Van De Graaf proposed the creation of a database that would allow organizations to reward employees for the quality of their performance, which incentivizes  high-quality caregiving.
Finding The Money To Make The Changes You Need
Deploying patient satisfaction and safety initiatives can be a substantial expense. Improving employee retention rates and automating HR processes are two ways human resources departments can cut costs, providing the resources they’ll need to improve patient care.
Improving Employee Retention: 69% of respondents found that improving retention rates could help to reduce costs. According to Frederick Morgeson, PhD, the loss of a worker incurs a cost that is one to two times an employee’s first-year salary.
Automating Human Resources Processes: 74% of survey respondents found that streamlining human resources processes would help to reduce costs. Automating certain HR operations can help to make an organization more cost-efficient. HR.com outlines several benefits of automating human resources processes:
- Efficient payroll and benefits information processing
- Reduced resource allocation
- Enhanced employee satisfaction
Healthcare human resources professionals also have to verify that their employee licenses are valid. EverCheck automatically verifies employee licenses so you can easily confirm that your employees possess the necessary credentials.