When people hear the term organizational culture, they tend to think of companies who have made a name for themselves based on their organization’s culture, such as Southwest Airlines and Google. One of the common factors for those companies with such well known cultures is that they put their employees first, before their customers. In the healthcare industry that seems almost contradictory, as every aspect of healthcare is focused on patient care. However, a healthcare professional must take care of themselves physically and mentally to be effective in caring for their patients.
The culture of healthcare organizations must include creating a positive and engaging atmosphere for their physicians and nurses. A survey was conducted in 2017 by Cejka Search and VITAL Worklife with 555 physicians and advanced practitioners. The data received from that survey clearly showed the impact of culture within healthcare organizations when it comes to retaining staff and financial impact.
2017 Survey Data
Culture was viewed as the most important category across all wellness categories:
- 86 % reported culture as extremely important for the desire to stay in their current job
- 5% viewed culture as extremely important to their compassion for patients
- 0% reported culture as extremely important to relationships with care team members
Cultural Attributes most valued were:
- 3% Skilled leadership
- 8% Awareness or concern for their needs
- 8% Creates an environment where team members are collaborative
- 5% Employees are held accountable
Physician Shortage Estimates:
- One Primary Care Physician vacancy estimated cost nearly $1.3 million per year
- Loss of one nurse estimated cost is $58,000
- Less job-seeking physicians than job openings
- Physician Shortage expected to reach 88,000 by 2025
For a healthcare organization to create a healthy culture they must clearly define their expectations and provide their staff with the training, tools, and support needed to reach those goals. The strongest cultures flourish when their healthcare workers are confident in facing the challenges they meet. A healthcare culture should define expectations for the performance of individual caregivers in critical areas such as quality of care, patient safety, patient experience, and operational efficiency.
Engagement is the most important component of an organization’s culture because it develops communication and creates commitment. To solidify engagement there must be a constant expression of goals, expectations, and aspirations. Engaged and committed workers will deliver higher quality care, be more compassionate, and provide more efficient care. Be sure to celebrate the successes when staff demonstrate the desired culture.
Healthcare is facing some significant changes from hospital focused healthcare to a more systemic approach, from volume-based healthcare to value-based, and while reimbursement for care is diminishing and cost of care is rising. Organizations will have to be flexible to adapt to these changes because it will not be business as usual. The key will be balancing the need to preserve the necessary components of your organization’s culture while making the transformations needed to meet the changing healthcare models. An engaged workforce will embrace the organizations vision and cultural change because they will know it is in everyone’s best interest, including their patients, their organization, their colleagues, their community, and themselves.
Genesis Medical Management will help your organization to develop a healthy culture, define your vision and goals, and engage your staff to adapt to the inevitable changes healthcare is facing. Contact us today so your healthcare organization can thrive tomorrow.
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