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How Employee Selection Impacts the Patient Experience

November 17, 2011
One of our hospital clients had a particular issue with high turnover and poor quality with patient transporters.  We worked with them to streamline the selection process including the phone screen, use of a high quality online assessment, and structured, behavioral interview.  HR is happy because there is less work required to screen the candidate pool.  Hiring managers are happy because they don’t need to interview as many candidates to find acceptable hires.

What the hospital didn’t realize was the potential positive impact on the patient experience.  Actual Feedback:

During a discussion about patient centered care at the RN Retention Council meeting, two nurses spoke up and said that “transport gets it” and that the new transporters have been great.  Further, a Unit Director mentioned a patient who has been in the hospital for months and had been depressed.  After a transport last week, the patient came back in better spirits and had bonded with the transporter.  When he dropped the patient off, the transporter fist bumped the patient who laughed and brightened up.  The Unit Director attributed the improvement of the patient’s spirits exclusively to the positive interaction with the transporter.

Imagine the impact of implementing a similar selection process for all levels of the hospital – so that everyone who interacts with the patient is selected in the same manner.  Now that HCAHPS has everyone focused on the patient experience, we need to take advantage of the tools that exist to identify top performers in the hiring process.

One of the greatest rewards of working with HR in healthcare is that the efforts have a bottom line impact on patient care and the hospital’s mission.  The beauty now is that recent “pay-for-performance” efforts have tied dollars to the patient experience.  Sometimes the right thing and the smart thing are the same thing.

Bryan Warren Bryan Warren is the President of J3 Personica, a consulting, assessment, training, and coaching firm, and a guest blogger for PSI. Bryan is an expert in progressive talent strategies, with a particular focus on leader and physician selection and development.