Kaiser Permanente ranked top healthcare employer in 2018

Kaiser Permanente
An analysis of company reviews by Indeed puts Kaiser Permanente at the top of the list of healthcare companies when it comes to employee satisfaction. (Ted Eytan/CC BY-SA 2.0)

Kaiser Permanente is the best healthcare organization to work for, according to an analysis of employer reviews compiled by the job search engine Indeed.

Mayo Clinic was the only other care provider among the 15 companies ranked by Indeed, coming in at number six. The list was populated primarily by the world's largest pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Amgen and Novartis. 

Healthcare spending was up to almost 18% of the country’s gross domestic product in 2016, and the worldwide outlook for the sector continues to look strong for the foreseeable future. Against that backdrop, Indeed analyzed its collection of over 18 million company reviews to see which healthcare companies provided the best employee experience.

According to the analysis, employee satisfaction with team members put Kaiser Permanente over the top. “All were hard-working, dedicated over-achievers whose attention to quality was beyond expectations,” read one review.

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A recent drop in workplace satisfaction among workers at safety-net hospitals highlighted the importance of healthcare companies’ ongoing struggle to stave off physician burnout in a fast-changing industry.

Efforts to improve staff efficiency, such as a recent reconfiguration of Kaiser’s emergency care staffing protocols, have also been linked to better satisfaction for both clinicians and patients. By making doctors the first point of contact in its emergency rooms, Kaiser was able to keep its nurses more directly involved with caring for patients, freeing physicians to move through more patients. That resulted in less waiting for patients and less-frustrating conditions for nurses and doctors.

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The Mayo Clinic has launched its own efforts to reduce clinician burden, identifying five manager behaviors that staff said improved their job satisfaction. Recent estimates show healthcare systems can spend as much as $1.3 million in recruitment, productivity and retraining costs when a single physician quits due to burnout.

Other health systems are investing in ways to address those issues. Last year, Stanford created a "chief physician wellness officer" position, establishing an entirely new leadership office devoted to burnout.