A focus on the experience of your patients is no longer just a trend among a few exceptional organizations. Any healthcare organization looking to remain competitive in their industry has already adopted the means to receive feedback from their patients and implement change at the patient level as a sustained effort. However, understanding the experience of your patients and creating a better healthcare system should go beyond just patient surveying. Hoping to further increase positive patient experiences, the latest focus of improvement has been on engaging employees.

This year, the annual benchmarking study performed by The Beryl Institute showed a greater emphasis on employees as a central part of the increased development of healthcare systems over the next few years.

Of the 1,644 respondents surveyed across 27 countries, 46% said they are focused on employee engagement as one of their top three priorities for the next three years. As a common top priority, many organizations have realized the strong link between how care is delivered and a patient’s perception of it. In fact, 85% of respondents said they believed employee engagement was a piece of patient experience. Yet, just under half of these respondents are not making engaged employees a top focus for their system, leaving an opportunity open for your organization to stand out with engagement efforts.

Patient experience assessments should start with regular employee surveying. The Beryl Institute argues that employee engagement and satisfied patients is a cycle starting with engaged employees. Engaged employees are happier with their jobs and create positive experiences that meet the needs and standards of patients.  If patients are happy, their treatment of hospital staff is more positive, and in turn, is a positive experience for your employees that incentivizes them to continue quality care. Start with the foundation of the care—the person delivering the service. Survey to discover what your employees would like from your organization and the opportunities for improvement of your care delivery, and then build a better workplace. According to Bivarus Senior Consultant Connie Saunders, “By investing in your employees through regular engagement surveying and taking action on survey results to address their needs, your healthcare organization will see a return on investment in productivity, safety, less turnover, and most importantly, further enhancement in quality patient care.”

This Beryl Institute study also showed that among US hospitals, the most important factor in achieving a positive patient experience is believed to be highly engaged employees, stated by 68% of respondents, up from 44% in 2015. Notably, the second and third top results were a “healthy, positive, and strong organization culture” and “purposeful and visionary leadership,” stated by 58% and 62% of respondents, respectively. These top responses to the most important factors of positive patient experience can all be better understood through a commitment to your employees through surveying. “That from an effort historically driven by mandates and leadership focus, a change is in play that recognizes the healthcare organizations you build are the ultimate driver of the experience you provide and therefore the outcomes you achieve. This is a powerful realization and a significant moment in the experience movement as it now weaves itself into the very fabric of organizational life as a way to be rather than a thing to do,” said Jason A. Wolf, President of The Beryl Institute.

Engaged employees are a central aspect to creating a positive experience for your patients. Without care for your employees, you cannot hope for a continued increase in patient experience scores beyond what you have accomplished over the past few years. Start with employee surveying, discover what your employees would like from you, and make your focus over the next few years meeting their needs and producing a better employee culture at your organization. Not only will you see results for your employees, but also for your patients. Stay competitive by starting employee surveying, now.

Bivarus offers a variety of employee surveying services that provide you with the insights that you need to take action for a better experience. Request a demo or contact us to learn more about what we can do for your organization.

Wolf, Jason A. (2017). A Report on The Beryl Institute Benchmarking Study, The State of Patient Experience 2017: A Return to Purpose. The Beryl Institute.

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