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Engagement a Key Theme at ASHHRA Convention

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, September 19, 2011

As if things weren't complicated enough, the new thinking on employee engagement in healthcare is occurring in the midst of enormous change. Nobody knows for certain what healthcare will look like in five years. 

"I can't think of an industry that has more vectors of force hitting it simultaneously than healthcare," Davenport says. "You have legislative issues, financial issues, science issues, technical issues, cultural and morality issues. The things that are smashing into healthcare are if not unprecedented then at least unusual.

Healthcare has had to run so fast to catch up because for generations it was a pretty simple deal. It's not so simple anymore."

Walter says his son was writing a college paper recently on strategic HR management. "He said, 'Dad what is the difference between now and the days when it was 'personnel?'' I said 'the difference is now we are a major player at the table and we are there to drive the organization in a lot of things like engagement, sometimes kicking and screaming,'" Walters says. "A lot of people aren't interested in engagement, but once they see the results it makes all the difference in the world."


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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1 comments on "Engagement a Key Theme at ASHHRA Convention"


stephen.mcclure (9/20/2011 at 2:19 PM)
To follow up on your statements about the importance of employee engagement to HCAHPS, HealthStream recently analyzed data that demonstrated this conclusion. Of nearly 250 client hospitals, all of which utilize HealthStream for patient satisfaction (HCAHPS), employee satisfaction, and physician satisfaction research, employee satisfaction was clearly shown to impact patient satisfaction. As employee satisfaction/loyalty increased, so did HCAHPS scores. The study also revealed two other predictors which were meaningful. It discovered that as HCAHPS scores increased, employee ratings of administration decreased. This interesting finding appears to indicate that hospital leaders who push forward with behavioral changes necessary to improve their hospitals' HCAHPS scores may find that their ranking with employees could decline. Physician ratings of nursing skill, the third variable, were also found to be a significant predictor of HCAHPS scores.