Boardman, OH (PRWEB) August 28, 2014
In the healthcare industry, there is one primary question that hospitals and private practices struggle with: How can the overall quality of patient care be improved?
A new multi-year study of the healthcare industry tackles this question, and has collected data that shows a direct correlation between employee job satisfaction and the quality of patient care.
Results of the study can be found in “Organizational Factors related to Improving Quality of Patient Care: Technical Report of the Celtic Healthcare Survey,” a paper co-authored by Dr. Sanford Kulkin, Dr. Bradley Smith, and former head statistician with Emory Medical School, Dr. Larry Price. In the paper, Smith, Kulkin, and Price collected data from healthcare workers spanning a two-year period that definitively links high job satisfaction to superior patient care.
“We gathered our data directly from a diverse sample of health care workers,” said Smith. “When we looked at the numbers, we saw that the employees that felt happy and valued in their current position were also perceived as giving a higher standard of care to their patients.”
With the connection between job satisfaction and patient care established, the authors go on to explore the factors that were found to have the greatest impact on overall levels of job satisfaction in healthcare employees. The study revealed a strong correlation between employee satisfaction and:
1) Leadership management styles
2) The overall atmosphere of the workplace
3) Strong communication between supervisors and staff
4) The establishment of clear goals and benchmarks
5) A focus on fostering common core values
6) Building strong teams
7) Personality and behavioral style of nurses, nurse managers, medical aids and technicians, and other supporting personnel from the hospital, medical facility, and therapeutic care environments
A strong correlation was also found between employee satisfaction and staff retention. Authors of the study point out that minimizing job turnover in the medical field is essential to establishing a high standard of patient care, as it allows hospitals to maximize their investment in their staff. Dedicating resources to retaining quality staff is preferable to investing in the continual cycle of training and onboarding new staff. The authors point out that the current turnover rate of nursing staff in facilities that do not invest in improving employee job satisfaction reaches 20% or higher. They go on to elaborate, “Since the shortage of nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel is not expected to improve over the short term, it is even more important to focus on retention of the good staff a hospital or medical facility has.”
In order to firmly establish the connection between patient care, employee satisfaction, and job turnover, authors of the study used a diagnostic and educational tool known as Medical Keys. Said study co-author Dr. Brad Smith, “We chose Medical Keys for our study because it is a minimally invasive program that can be administered on any hospital staff. Medical Keys is an easily-implementable assessment and training program that targets all of the elements that influence job satisfaction without disrupting the daily responsibility of caregivers.” The study polled heathcare workers in 2008 before the implementation of Medical Keys, and again in 2010 after the implementation of Medical Keys, showing an across-the-board improvement in every category used to measure employee satisfaction and patient care.
“Knowing where you need to make improvements is one thing. The biggest part of the battle is knowing how to step in and make the adjustments that you need in order to create a staff that’s happy, productive, and effective. Through raising awareness among staff and administrators in the important role that behavior, communication, values, teamwork, and leadership styles play in improving patient care, we hope to help medical industry resolve staffing problems that have been plaguing them for years. It’s important to the future of the healthcare industry for administrators to commit to making improvements in productivity, contentment, and retention of medical staff,” said Sandy Kulkin. “Ultimately, the data from our study showed that programs like Medical Keys will increase morale, keeps costs down, and improve the standard of patient care.”
The paper has the potential to have a major impact on the way that medical institutions view their educational commitment to their staff, as well as the importance of training programs such as Medical Keys. “Based on the results of the studies presented in this report,” according to the study’s authors, “time spent investing in programs that improve job satisfaction is time well spent.”
For the full results of the PeopleKeys study as published in “Organizational Factors related to Improving Quality of Patient Care: Technical Report of the Celtic Healthcare Survey,” click here.
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