Taking the daily pulse of the nursing profession

It is time to measure the pulse of the nursing profession and healthcare organizations in general

Healthcare delivery is a complex and highly technical process but it is delivered 1:1 by people (primarily nurses) in an intimate setting.  In fact, the people delivering this service matter more than the science, technology or equipment put together.  It’s a startling realization that is just now starting to reverberate within the healthcare community.

“Bedside manner” is no joke.  The state of mind, emotional focus and engagement of attending healthcare workers (again, predominantly nurses) is often the dominant factor in determining patient satisfaction and even patient outcomes.   It is certainly cited as a major factor in medical errors (and in preventing them), according to JAMA and others. 

According to Barbara Balik, RN, Ed.D, senior faculty member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), “We can only treat patients as well as we treat one another.” A 2009 Forum Group report titled “The Relationship Between Employee Satisfaction and Hospital Patient Experiences,” found that efforts to create higher employee satisfaction have a very desirable outcome on patients, including increased patient satisfaction, improved care quality, and increased patient loyalty.

Given this, the ANCC has made a survey of the nursing population part of the Magnet Recognition Program®. But how does one drive real improvement in nursing engagement from the perspective of a nursing manager ? 

Shouldn’t it be as easy as what happens every time a nurse visits a patient? Simply put, why aren’t we regularly taking the pulse of the nursing profession, just like nurses do for their patients?  A daily pulse would answer key questions about the state of the nursing profession. How engaged are nurses? What are the major issues and concerns for nurses? It would extend from measuring from the simpler things like personal recognition to the more complex topics including communications and rewards.  It just makes sense to have more frequent, if not real-time information about how things are going for our healthcare professionals.  We need them to perform at incredibly high levels of engagement and mental presence.  And we also need to know (in real time) when there are roadblocks that my make this difficult for them.

In the WorkersCount service that engages at the general worker population across all industries, we have found that the dominant pain-points for employees are often the simple fundamentals. Feeling like you are part of the team? Only 38% said that co-workers get to know each other. Feeling recognized? Only 29% felt appreciated at work. And only 59% feel their accomplishments were consistently recognized. Knowing where their career is going? Only 36% claim to know where their career is going.  There is a great deal of opportunity emerging for corporate leaders, and incredible insights happening daily for the participating workers as they gain perspective and context for their experience and quality of their lives at work.

In response to the needs of healthcare organizations and the fundamental importance of nurses to healthcare, we have created the first daily engagement service dedicated to the Nursing and allied healthcare provider population.  NursesCount goes beyond basic worker engagement and dives deeper into the factors that drive world-class care, including industry-specific workplace and organizational barriers as well as bright spots.   These workers are the best qualified to provide a self-reported daily pulse on the “health” of the healthcare delivery system.

The new NursesCount service is totally anonymous. Trended benchmark analytics is provided to hospitals wanting to go from good to great, and connect more effectively with their workers. Nurses that participate get a daily view into how other nurses at their hospitals answered sentiment and questions of the day by their hospital and their hospital unit.   The longitudinal nature of the data creates new insights across organizations and departments, as well as in comparison to other healthcare organizations.

Everything happens in less than a minute, as nurses check-into NursesCount using a mobile phone, tablet or a laptop—whichever is easiest and most convenient for them.

The NursesCount service provides users and their healthcare organizations always-fresh data that enables them to drive real improvement and stay at the top of their game all the time.  Because that’s what patients expect, and that’s what nurses and allied healthcare professionals demand of themselves and of their organizations. 

Together with the companion service “PatientCount” (the new standard of patient service quality reporting) the healthcare organizations working with us are ready to leap ahead of competitors and blow-away expectations of patients.  It’s like moving from a typewriter to a laser printer.  And the metaphor is not that far away from what’s really happening in terms of speed and quality.

What’s your opinion about healthcare quality and engagement today?  How will your organization take control of the process?

Come join the conversation at our LinkedIn Group today!