Hospitals tap into evidence-based employee engagement

Although typically used for improving patient outcomes, hospital leaders are taking the evidence-based approach a step further and applying it to employee engagement, according to yesterday's column in Hospitals & Health Networks. Evidence-based practice combines current research, caregivers' experience and patient preferences, according to Vicki Hess, principal at Catalyst Consulting in Owings Mills, Md. Recognizing that employee engagement translates into better results, healthcare leaders and managers are using patient satisfaction, patient safety, infection prevention and readmission rates as metrics. Hess recommends leaders engage employees by asking them what they were most satisfied and energized in last week, what management does that stops or starts engagement, as well as what other regular obstacles prevent employees from feeling engaged.

"Many health care organizations conduct employee engagement surveys that help focus on what needs to improve. This information can be helpful to involved and interested managers who believe in the power of engagement and make the time to focus on it," Hess said. "The often-missing element is one-on-one knowledge of employee preferences." Column