Requirements from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have some hospitals turning to Human Resources with a focus on employee engagement as a way to help boost their patient satisfaction goals. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act require Medicare to associate a dollar figure based on patient satisfaction as part of the value-based purchasing initiative. Therefore, higher satisfaction scores from patients will translate to higher Medicare reimbursements for hospitals nationwide.
With this heighten interest in patient satisfaction; hospitals administrators have taken a keen eye to the effectiveness of their employee recognition and reward programs and the engagement of their employees. As Harvard Business Review states, employees who are described as ‘thriving’ demonstrate 16% better overall performance (as reported by their managers) and 125% less burnout (self-reported) than their peers. The Harvard article defines the thriving workforce as one in which employees are not just satisfied and productive but also engaged in creating the future—the company’s and their own. The benefits of having solid recognition and reward programs in place to develop ‘thriving’ employees are imperative to achieving and maintaining high patient satisfaction scores and engagement.
“One of our strategic pillars is people; it’s just as simple as that. People – we consider that to be a strategic differentiator.”
Effective employee recognition and reward programs can directly impact the satisfaction of physicians and employees to result in increased patient satisfaction; reduced employee turnover; higher emphasis on delivering value and service; achieving performance targets for HCAHPS; and reduced employee injury. To examine the current state of healthcare recognition and rewards practices, Sodexo Motivation Solutions commissioned a study that resulted in the Recognizing And Rewarding Hospital Employees whitepaper. The study revealed that while reward and recognition programs were viewed by hospital administrators as critically important to the success of the hospital, program implementation and participation varied across hospitals and between departments.
Furthermore, the study identified the need for a technology platform that could effectively manage and easily administer recognition and rewards programs. Therefore, an impressive opportunity exists for professionals tasked with improving patient satisfaction scores to work with a qualified recognition partner to address unifying multiple programs, uneven participation, and tracking and comparing program results for the long-term benefit of both employees and the organization. Technology partners today offer robust real-time data, multi-program capabilities and secure spending controls for total program management.
Jennifer Tekin is a senior marketing manager for Sodexo Motivation Solutions.