INTOUCH Healthcare Coaching Research & Training Offers New Pathway for Hospitals to Improve Quality and Maximize Reimbursement Rates Under New HCAHPS Rules

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Emerging research shows potential for new vitality and efficiencies aligned with HCAHPS requirements from a surprising source: spirituality at work. The INTOUCH model relies on the development of emotional and spiritual intelligences and the integration of spirituality in the workplace through 1) assessing a hospital system’s connectedness in six areas, 2) implementing initial and ongoing training for leaders, nurses and other healthcare professionals, and 3) installing a structural framework upon which a cultural transformation takes place from the inside out.

HCAHPS Healthcare Coach & Consultant

Rhonda S. Bell, DBA

Hospital and healthcare systems that embrace and act upon this research will be the ones to pull ahead as leaders in the 21st century.

In the midst of an ailing and understaffed healthcare system whose reimbursement rates will soon be tied to quality instead of quantity, emerging research shows the potential for new vitality and efficiencies from a somewhat surprising source: spirituality at work.

In October 2012, under the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS), Medicare will begin to tie hospital reimbursement rates to quality measures and the patient’s perception of care, which is less about clinical outcomes and more about soft skills such as attitude, listening and communication.

High-scoring hospitals have the potential to maintain/increase their revenue, while low-scoring systems will face additional cuts and be excluded from the $850 million bonus pool. Absent from the 429 pages of new rules is any guidance about how hospitals are to transform into what the Obama Administration is calling “accountable care organizations.” But this emerging research points to a new path.

The research, compiled over a decade mostly among nurses, yields a positive relationship between spirituality at work and organizational culture and commitment; and hints at correlative increases in job satisfaction, quality of care and patient satisfaction based on perception of care. The premise is that organizations will fare better when they learn how to nurture the mind-body-spirit connection of both patients and caregivers.

“Hospital and healthcare systems that embrace and act upon this research will be the ones to pull ahead as leaders in the 21st century,” says lead researcher Rhonda S. Bell, DBA, founder of INTOUCH Healthcare Coaching. “These leaders will cure the root causes of what ails the system - instead of treating one symptom after another; and will be able to create sustainable gains, new levels of vitality and profitability, and position their organizations to thrive in the ever-changing healthcare environment.”

INTOUCH Healthcare Coaching helps by first assessing a hospital system’s connectedness in six areas, then implementing initial and ongoing training for leaders, nurses and other healthcare professionals, and installing a structural framework upon which a cultural transformation takes place from the inside out.

Bell’s healthcare model is called WISE & INTOUCH: Whole-Health Integrated Service Environments that utilize Integrated Nursing and Total Optimization for Ultimate Care and Healing. The model relies on the development of emotional and spiritual intelligences and the integration of spirituality in the workplace.

“Becoming INTOUCH is not a program, it is not a quick fix,” Bell said. “It is a new way of being that honors the mind-body-spirit needs of caregivers. Just as patients rely on their spiritual faculties to get through a health crisis, caregivers can learn to rely on their spiritual faculties for insight, inspiration and personal renewal in order to meet the ongoing demands and stresses of providing care. Spirit is inexhaustible and indomitable; that’s why the gains realized through becoming INTOUCH are potentially unlimited and inherently sustainable.”

INTOUCH is currently vetting hospital systems to pilot the WISE & INTOUCH healthcare model. Apply by September 30, 2011.

ABOUT INTOUCH Healthcare Coaching
INTOUCH Healthcare Coaching is dedicated to creating a new future for healthcare where optimum efficiency for hospitals, optimum work environments for healthcare professionals and optimum healing for patients all coexist. INTOUCH founder and chief executive Rhonda S. Bell, DBA, offers training and consulting to hospital and healthcare systems nationwide. The genesis for WISE & INTOUCH is Dr. Bell’s doctoral dissertation, “Spirituality and Job Satisfaction: A Correlational Study Among Nurses.” In Jan. 2010, Dr. Bell was awarded a research grant from American Public University System to continue her research on spirituality at work among nurses in hospital settings, with the findings due to be published in leading journals this year.

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Rhonda S. Bell, DBA
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