3 ways healthcare leaders can drive improvements

Healthcare leaders can help their organizations achieve better clinical outcomes and improve patient satisfaction by first understanding the emotions that affect employee decision-making and then applying appropriate strategies to lead change, according to the Gallup Business Journal.

Decision-making is more emotional than rational, Gallup consultants Jeff Burger and Andrew Giger write. But healthcare leaders who take the time to help their employees work through those emotions and understand the reasons behind organization-wide changes have a better chance of achieving their goals, they say.

They suggest healthcare leaders follow three simple strategies to drive necessary changes at their organizations:

  1. Tie the organization's mission to the need for change. Employees need strong motivation to make changes, according to the article. Therefore, use the organization's mission, such as to improve quality of care, to inspire employees and explain the importance of the change.
  2. Clearly explain the organization's goals. It's vital that leaders take the time to communicate and explain the goals and changes so employees understand what the organization expects from them. The practice will strengthen employee engagement, the authors write.
  3. Set short-term targets that lead to the ultimate goal. Create incremental benchmarks that allow the organization to highlight achievements and identify and resolve problems as you work toward the long-term goal. These small celebrations can help motivate employees.

These tips also reflect the findings of a report from the Point of Care Foundation, which determined leaders must encourage employee engagement if they want to improve patient care, FierceHealthcare previously reported. How healthcare staff feel about their work can affect a hospital's efficiency and financial performance, according to the report.

"Staff engagement is a function of good management and teamwork, staff satisfaction and staff health and well-being. These are, in turn, related to a number of aspects of clinical quality, patient experience and productivity and cost," the report said.

To learn more:
- read the Gallup Business Journal article