No Employee Satisfaction, No Patient-Centered Culture

Marianne Aiello, November 19, 2014

Nurse and staff satisfaction and engagement are vital to generating patient loyalty. Everything starts with tracking and analyzing the right metrics. Then comes strategy.


Kevin Gwin
VP, Patient Experience and Communications
Ardent Health Services

When hospital leaders set about creating strategies to improve the patient experience, it's easiest to focus on superficial changes—spacious lobbies with cheerful design features, sleek private suites, and designer hospital gowns.

While aesthetic improvements have been proven to make a positive impact on patients, they don't get to the crux of the issue for many hospitals and health systems: fostering a patient-centered culture.

Scripps Health and Ardent Health Services are two organizations excelling in this arena, focusing on staff satisfaction and engagement, as well as tracking a number of metrics as a means to improve the patient experience.

"Nurse and staff loyalty and engagement play the most important role in generating patient loyalty—it's where we begin," says Kevin Gwin, vice president of patient experience and communications for Ardent Health Services.

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 "I cannot ask our employees to change, if our relationship with them is not in the right place.  I must ensure we're staffed appropriately, they have the tools and equipment they need, they have trust in administration and their supervisor, they receive consistent, accurate communication and they feel recognized and valued before I ask more of them on the patient side."

It Starts with Staff
Staff satisfaction is a driver for any type of patient experience improvements, says Vic Buzachero, corporate senior vice president, innovation/HR/performance management, for Scripps Health.

"Staff that have their needs met can focus on the needs of the patient," he says. "Years ago, Sears conducted a definitive survey and study that indicated that customer satisfaction and sales increased with employee satisfaction."

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