January 24, 2013
In the last 5 years, we have seen a sea change in healthcare. The term ”consumerism” has taken hold, meaning that healthcare consumers are now empowered to take ownership of their own healthcare. This is the result of several converging trends. First, information about the cost and quality of healthcare delivery is readily available to the public. You can compare physicians and hospitals with ease in a couple of clicks. Couple that with the advent of high-deductible health plans and the consumer now has the requirement (and financial incentive) to manage their care more proactively.
This has resulted in hospitals and other healthcare providers putting the patient at the center of the delivery model. Rather than focus solely on clinical results, hospitals are correctly realizing that the customer is the patient, and the patient is going to look at their entire experience (“the patient experience”) in addition to the clinical outcome.
But here’s the rub. In any business, you can’t take care of customers if you don’t take care of employees. Healthcare is no different. We must find ways to engage our nurses, administrative staff, physicians, housekeeping staff, supervisors, switchboard operators, etc. so that they WANT to provide great service to their patients. It’s not that we think patients are not important. But, there is a direct correlation between employee loyalty and customer loyalty. And with more restrictive reimbursements on the horizon, the pressure will continue to rise on patient acquisition and retention.
We decided to write this book to share data on the connection between employee engagement and patient loyalty, to share stories of how this has worked in our organizations, and to leave readers with practical tools and tips to implement immediate change in their organization.