Do Healthcare Leaders Care About Their Clinicians as Much as Their Patients?

Sixty-five percent of physicians feel overworked. Nearly one-quarter of physicians work between 61 and 80 hours per week. Nearly one in five newly-licensed RNs leave their first nursing job within the first year. It doesn’t look like these trends will reverse anytime soon.  Being a healthcare professional today is tough.

Meanwhile, the biggest factor in the healthcare consumer experience is quality time with the medical staff. According to Prophet’s Patient Experience Study, an alarming eighty-one percent of consumers are dissatisfied with their healthcare experience, and the happiest consumers are those who interact with the system the least.

Carl Armato, CEO Novant Health, sees this opportunity. “We don’t look at the patient experience separately from the physician/team member experience,” Armato said. “They are blended together. We need to create a remarkable experience for our patients and our team members.”

While digital solutions are used everywhere in creating great consumer experiences, we at Prophet find it ironic that so many healthcare organizations are not applying this same approach for clinicians. Improving the clinician experience has the power to simultaneously amplify the patient experience while providing other business impact, such as retention, labor costs, and culture.

3 Ways Digital Solutions Help Improve Clinician & Patient Experiences

1. Link Clinicians with Leadership

With full schedules, physicians are constantly in motion, and it’s hard to stay connected with— and heard by, leadership. Creating a digital channel, containing a feedback loop, to share content related to the organization’s direction, is highly advantageous in ensuring physicians are informed, aligned, and feel valued.

California-based Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reimagined its HenryNET intranet tool to transform into a central communications hub. The site deploys news modules for system-wide updates, and an ‘Ask the CEO’ feature, where employees can submit questions or suggestions for improvement to administration.

2. Create a Community Among Clinicians

By profession, clinicians are problem solvers. When challenges emerge, they love teaming up with colleagues to address them, though it’s difficult to do so at scale. Creating digital communities of shared interest helps physicians tap into their problem-solving mindset to create unity and collective ownership, spanning the direction of the organization down to menu items at the cafeteria.

Piedmont, a Prophet client, created The Village with Interact, an award-winning intranet, to create a digital-based community for nearly 20,000 employees throughout Georgia. They even used their community of employees to name the site.  According to Keith Newman, Director of Internal Communications, since the launch of Piedmont’s The Village, “There has been a significant increase in the number of employees who agree or strongly agree that they receive adequate communication about changes happening at Piedmont and the company’s future plans and directions.”

3. Recognize, Celebrate, and Reinforce Purpose and Values

Far too often, corporate values sit on a website or wall— without much integration into the organization’s culture. There is an assumption that once these values are written out and posted, your work on this initiative is finished. Nothing can be further from the truth.

Values need to be woven into the organization’s core to ensure employees embrace and live them wholeheartedly. Digital tools allow for recognition, story sharing, and celebration of behaviors that reinforce those values.

Encompass Health, a Prophet client, utilizes digital as an internal tool, with its Hive platform, and externally, on LinkedIn to showcase individuals who live out their values. Previously HealthSouth, Encompass Health’s Hive platform was critical for leadership to communicate and engage the organization through its brand migration process, and the app was awarded the CEB Internal Communications Award in 2017.

CHRO Cheryl Levy says, “Combining our digital employee experience efforts with our values is important when getting nearly 40,000 employees across 36 states operating as one unified culture.”

Final Thoughts

Better digital experiences are not just for patients. Clinicians expect the same level of seamless digital integration at work as they experience outside the office. Focusing on improved clinician experiences through digital solutions helps to enhance sense of purpose, job satisfaction, positive work ethic, and works to improve collaboration.

This helps health systems reach higher retention rates, improved clinician performance, and enhanced process efficiencies. This is what patients really want to see: an engaged, attentive, and empathetic nurse or doctor, who thrive in a collaborative, informed, and encouraging environment.

At Prophet, we help to provide guidance for healthcare firms in terms of growth and overall company culture. Learn more about how we can help communicate your values.