HealthcareSource and Planetree Release Healthcare HR Influence Survey Results

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Survey reveals gaps between departments, leaders and frontline staff when it comes to how HR best practices can influence the patient or resident experience

HealthcareSource(R), the leading provider of talent management software solutions for the healthcare industry, and Planetree, advocate and coaching services provider, today announced the results of their joint online 2013 Healthcare HR Influence Survey.

Conducted from April 1 through April 30, 2013, the 6-question Web-based survey was open to all U.S. healthcare professionals. A total of 516 qualified respondents participated. 89% of those surveyed work in HR, 9% hold clinical roles and 1% identify as IT; 59% of those respondents are individual contributors, 33% are directors or managers and 8% are VP or CXO.

According to the survey results, 82% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that at their organization's HR team has an active role in making sure employees provide person-centered care. Additionally, 43% of HR directors and 47% of executives believe HR has an active role in ensuring employees provide person-centered care, while only 20% of directors of nursing and 21% of RNs agree.

"These results show a potential disconnect between what we believe, as individual HR professionals, as administrators, as CEOs, and recruiters, and what is actually occurring within our own organization at the direct care level," said Jim Kinsey, Director of Planetree Member Experience.

Kathy Poteate, Interim HR Director at Hugh Chatham Memorial Hospital, agrees. "These survey results probably highlight the different ways that clinical and non-clinical staff views person-centered care. Many directors of nursing and RNs believe that person-centered care is delivered solely through clinical services. While those are certainly important, hiring and developing the right people is also a key component in delivering person-centered care."

Further responses show that 86% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that their organization's HR team has a strategic initiative in place to improve the patient or resident experience. 70% of recruiters and 48% of HR directors agree, while only 45% of the leadership respondents believe that HR has an initiative to enhance the healthcare customer experience.

"These responses show that there could be a divide between the strategic initiatives that HR and recruitment are really focused on and how that's actually executed throughout the organization," said Kinsey.

71% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that their talent acquisition teams assess candidates' service-excellence competencies (such as compassion and adaptability) during the hiring process. A majority of recruiters agree ─ 60%; but only 26% of executives believe that their talent acquisition teams are doing this.

Rebecca McNeil, Senior Education Manager at HealthcareSource, noted, "Recruiters are shouldering a lot of responsibility when it comes to performing this type of assessment; yet they're not publicizing their efforts when it comes to improving the patient or resident experience. It's important to track the impact and results of new hires so that when turnover goes down and customer satisfaction scores go up, you can draw a correlation between the benefits of assessments in the recruitment process and organizational success."

According to Poteate, "Through practices like behavioral interviewing, HR finds people who are driven by a need to serve others, and these are individuals who, if hired, will deliver person-centered care."

87% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that their employees have service excellence performance goals; the highest rate of agreement by role came from directors of nursing ─ 65% agree that their staff has performance goals around service excellence. Only 45% of RNs agree, with the lowest agreement coming from Directors of HR ─ 34%.

"There's a likely discrepancy between leaders and those they manage when it comes to performance goals around the patient or resident experience," said McNeil. "In 2012, HealthcareSource conducted a survey on HCAHPS, a CMS-run patient satisfaction survey for acute care. In that survey 57% of managers said they have clearly defined HCAHPS goals, while only 24% of frontline employees agree. To some degree, this reiterates that gap."

75% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that their employees, from top leadership to staff, have the educational resources they need to deliver person-centered care. Only 27% of those who manage staff education and only 19% of executives agree. The highest agreement by role is from directors of nursing ─ 45%.

"In times of budget strain, education is often the first expense to be eliminated or decreased. But it's important to remember that sometimes the easiest things to save money on, like employee education, are also the hardest to live without when we think of success for the organization as a whole," said Kinsey.

69% of survey respondents strongly agree or agree that their HR teams have learning management systems in place to ensure person-centered care best practices are adhered to. Only 31% of educators agree, while even fewer executives agree ─ 19%. The smallest agreement is from HR directors ─ just 13%.

McNeil observed, "This may reflect a discrepancy between educators and executives when it comes to understanding how learning management technology applies to the patient or resident experience. For HR to truly influence the patient or resident experience, employee support and engagement is critical. Learning technology is a tool to give employees more support."

About HealthcareSource
With more than 2,000 healthcare clients, HealthcareSource is the leading provider of talent management software for the healthcare industry. The HealthcareSource Suite helps healthcare organizations acquire, develop and retain the best workforce possible in order to reduce costs and improve patient satisfaction and safety. The company's talent management solutions include candidate sourcing, applicant tracking, reference checking behavioral assessments, onboarding, performance management, learning management, and eLearning courseware. Focused exclusively on the healthcare industry, HealthcareSource consistently earns high marks for client satisfaction and retention. KLAS Research recently named HealthcareSource a category leader for Talent Management for the third consecutive year, in addition to being recognized in the Healthcare Informatics Top 100 and Deloitte Technology Fast 500. To learn more about the benefits of automated talent management visit: http://www.healthcaresource.com, call 800.869.5200, or email: solutions(at)healthcaresource(dot)com.

About Planetree

Founded in 1978 by a San Francisco patient who endured a traumatic hospitalization, Planetree advocates for patients and residents, provides solutions for health care organizations and sets the standard for excellence in patient-centered care. It has been at the forefront of the effort to personalize, humanize and demystify the healthcare system for more than three decades, and today, the Planetree network is a global community of acute care hospitals, continuing care communities, and outpatient clinics transforming health care by considering every aspect of care from the perspective of their patients and residents, and reconnecting staff to their passion for caring for others. For more information, go to http://www.planetree.org.

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Rachel Weeks