Connie Saunders, Senior Consultant, examines the relationship between employee engagement and patient satisfaction scores and the importance of these correlations as they relate to CG-CAHPS®.
The newest survey offering in the healthcare industry is CG-CAHPS®, the CMS driven initiative to mandate patient satisfaction surveying in physician offices. It has long been understood that a high correlation exists between patient satisfaction and employee engagement. So as physician groups across the country prepare for CG-CAHPS®, the level of staff engagement becomes increasingly important.
How would your organization score? Are your employees engaged? Looking at the following research should raise these questions. An assessment of your organization, if conducted, will assist the practice in preparing for CG-CAHPS®.
Using a recent database of work climate surveys conducted by The Jackson Group in hospital systems across the country over the last three years, a sample of 8,736 physician office employees was compared to the database of 140,789 health care employees.
The two databases were compared using the Engagement Index inquiries.
Engagement Index (EI) –Employee Surveys
Recent studies by employee opinion research firms have indicated that engaging an individual in the life of the organization is more important than day-to-day satisfaction. These same studies indicate that four questions need to be answered positively in order to provide the groundwork for engaging employees within the organization:
1) Is the organization supportive of employees?
2) Is the organization a responsive organization?
3) Is the organization a sociable organization?
4) Is the organization a learning organization?
The EI is used to measure these broad concepts. In this study twelve of the EI questions were used to compare the level of engagement in physician office staff to all other healthcare employees in hospital systems.
- All twelve of the EI statements in the Physician Office Employee Database were significantly above the mean of the TJG Healthcare Employee Database by 4.2%.
- A notable positive variance of 9.0% between the two databases related to employee involvement in decision- making, with physician office staff views of involvement scoring 6.1 points higher.
- The greatest positive variance between the two databases related to supplies and equipment needed to do work, with a 9.5% variance.
- Opportunity for growth and development is another area that the physician office employees viewed more positively than the health care employee database.
- Views on communication, feedback, recognition, and caring leadership also scored significantly higher in the Physician Office Employee Database.
- Views on job expectations had the lowest variance; 1.3% between the two databases.
As physician practices assess their readiness for CG-CAHPS®, one key area will be to determine the level of engagement of their employees. It will be important to learn their open and honest views of their immediate work environment in a scientific manner where employees feel they can provide confidential feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their particular practice. Further, the analysis of this data will be important as well, with comparison to industry benchmarks on key aspects of the work environment. Finally, once results are obtained it will be important for leadership to act on survey results; working with the entire staff to create action plans that address any areas in the workplace that need enhancement.
Once practices have developed and improved their employee engagement levels, they can better prepare for increasing their patient satisfaction scores, and the impending CG-CAHPS®.
Connie Saunders is a senior consultant with The Jackson Group, Inc., a consulting firm who specializes in physician, employee, and patient satisfaction surveying and management consulting. Connie can be reached at (828)328-8968 or via email at email@example.com