“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” according to an old business saying. This is more than true for nurses, as it sometimes looks like they have their own culture and environment within a hospital. To make them embrace hospital goals, process improvements and strategical innovations, there’s no way it around it other than getting nurses engaged. In the end it’s the nurses who stand on the front lines of healthcare.
When Gallup studied outcomes at more than 200 hospitals using staffing and other variables, nurses engagement showed up to be the key factor in reducing medical errors, even more important than the number of nurses to total patient days.
I believe that engagement and motivation comes first from understanding the problem and having the right information. Dr. Brian Coshiro from Health Catalyst might agree with me as he lists “creating the culture of transparency” among 4 main areas driving the engagement of nurses, in his interesting article about engaging staff in hospitals.
Be transparent and share hospital analytical data with nurses to drive their engagement
Whether the management goal is reducing ED waiting times or average time last seen, it’s highly helpful to transform the goals into KPIs that nurses can follow on daily basis (or anytime). Today, nurses can get access to invaluable real-time Big Data analytics even on their own smartphone.
“The subject matter expertise that nurses bring to quality improvement teams is invaluable, and can make the difference between achieving actual improvements in quality, safety, and efficiency versus poorly thought-through ‘innovations’ that turn out to be disastrous to patient safety and staff performance.” states Mr. Strome in Healthcare Analytics, and I can only agree with him that “nurses are some of the most frequent users of data and analytics”.
Providing nurses with trust and transparency by giving them access to the right hospital analytical data can be a valuable help in making them feel of evaluated and involved (which is the main factor of employee engagement according to one study).
The hospitals can have a different data safety approach when sharing this data, while data transparency is recommended in general, sharing only relevant data with levels of employees or even sharing only colour based KPIs with no real numbers is a possibility.
So let nurses see in real data, how much of a big asset their work is when meeting hospital KPIs. Explain to them how these KPIs can be transformed directly into more healthy patients, lower morbidity, higher hospital scores and make them a real partner in making your healthcare facility a more efficient and safer place.
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