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Healthcare Hiring: I Can't Get No...(Patient) Satisfaction

December 17, 2015


'cause I try, and I try, and I try, and I try...

These Rolling Stones lyrics just seemed appropriate. It's one of the toughest metrics to achieve - patient satisfaction. It's no surprise to learn then, that better patient satisfaction comes from your staff. So ask yourself, is your healthcare organization's money better spent on facilities, equipment, new programs, or...hiring better staff?

After years of developing hiring systdr patientems that improve customer satisfaction, Select International has been preaching to our hospital clients that the surest way to improve patient satisfaction scores is to place less emphasis on new equipment and the latest programs - and invest time and money into finding and hiring the right staff.

J.D. Powers and Associates agree. When the marketing and research firm recently looked at the inpatient and outpatient hospital experience, it found that:

  • The biggest key to patient satisfaction isn't a fancy hospital lobby or high-tech equipment; it's the staff.
  • Patient satisfaction is most influenced by human factors, more so than facility upgrades or equipment.

"Having an appealing hospital facility matters, but an experienced and socially skilled staff has a greater impact on patient satisfaction," said Rick Millard, senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates. Read more about the study's findings

So, where has your emphasis been? When you are in meetings talking about patient satisfaction scores, what are the priorities: Valet parking? Renovations? Better food? Training? Scripting? Signs on the wall? When do you get around to talking about talent strategy - making sure that staff is compassionate, patient-focused, and collaborative, with high emotional intelligence so they can be aware of the needs of patients and their families?

Take a look at the budget for all of the above. It's usually indicative of priorities. If investment in healthcare hiring and talent strategies is on the bottom of the list, your money is not being well spent. The ironic part is that the human factor has the greatest impact, and making these changes is relatively inexpensive compared to other patient satisfaction strategies. Of course, sometimes it just seems easier to write a fat check for the big sexy new lobby than doing some of the grass roots, behavioral and cultural work it takes to transform your workforce.

Anyway, back to the Stones. ...hey hey hey, that's what I say. I can't get no...

front line staff in healthcare


Check out a 1-minute vlog featuring Ted Kinney, Ph.D.
discussing the impact front-line workers have on patient experience.


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.