It goes without saying that this is a tough time for hospitals and their staff. The healthcare industry has lost an estimated 20% of its workforce in the last two years. Leading experts recommend that healthcare systems invest more into understanding and meeting the needs of their existing employees.
The good news? Digital solutions such as staff rounding can act as a kind of sentiment analysis, allowing leaders to gauge the practical needs of their staff as well as more personal and emotional issues that require timely attention and employee engagement.
We found exactly that when we reviewed staff comments from across our customer base. CipherHealth’s staff rounding solution allows healthcare organizations to complete easy check-ins with their employees, utilizing customized rounding scripts. In doing so, they can monitor staff well-being, capture feedback and resolve time-sensitive issues quickly.
The comments we saw had a number of common themes from lack of leadership to safety concerns. Many staff members are being pulled in all directions, wearing more hats than ever before, and newer, less experienced staff are left to pick up the slack. All of these factors have led to an increase in staff turnover in healthcare over the last couple of years.
But there is also a lot positive that deserves mention: the technology allows individuals to recognize each other for their exceptional work and captures moments of great morale amongst teams. It can also provide the ability to offer mobile assessments to identify specific healthcare workers and team members who might need more specific education or training, which positively impacts patient safety.
We care about all the information staff rounding can surface because it gives insight into healthcare workers and staff experience so healthcare organizations can gain awareness and address pressing problems. This can go a long way towards reducing turnover during a time when many staff members are burned out and reevaluating their commitment to the profession.
The following is a cross-section of the type of feedback our customers are receiving via CipherHealth’s Staff Rounding tool:
Exceptional Service Recognition
Staff members called out specific colleagues, leaders and teams to share appreciation for their contributions. Celebrating and honoring each other’s hard work can boost morale, job satisfaction and productivity.
“Karen goes above and beyond and is amazing. She is dedicated and driven and sets a great example for everyone on the unit.”
“Kendra, thanks for being a great leader and champion for our team!”
“Infection control is great about keeping us in good supply.”
Mental Health Concerns
Staff comments surfaced that directly or indirectly signal mental health concerns. This allows for timely intervention on the part of leadership so that staff at risk can be provided with the resources they need regarding coping skills and treatment for burnout, anxiety, depression and PTSD.
“Many of us are experiencing compassion fatigue. We need ways to help with resiliency.”
“Employee has shared that she is currently dealing with a lot of stressors outside of work. I spoke to the employee about utilizing EAP.”
“I have several personal issues at this time.”
Lack of Leadership
In many hospital systems, staff members reported that they want leadership to be more visible and engaged. As a lack of leadership can reduce the efficiency and effectiveness of staff and hurt morale, it benefits the healthcare organization in the long run if management heeds this feedback.
“Where are managers when staffing is critical on units?”
“We need a charge nurse to help with acuity and watching monitors. It helps with workflow and safety.”
“With the patient acuity and lack of charge nurse it’s very difficult to provide prior and safe care to patients.”
Across our customer base, there were staff members whose comments showed they felt appreciated and valued and trusted that leadership had their best interests in mind. This is important as a healthy staff culture plays a big part in improving patient satisfaction and outcomes.
“The environment is feeling safe to report concerns.”
“Everyone is appreciative of leader rounds and checking on them.”
“The therapy team was in the hallway and a patient was being wheeled down to leave the hospital.
“Therapy formed a tunnel on both sides of the hallway and clapped and cheered for the patient. It was very touching and the patient cried. Excellent display of encouragement and appreciation to the patient.”
Staff members commented on both negative and positive changes in patient safety. Both are instructive for healthcare leaders. Preventing adverse events due to unsafe care is paramount. In addition, recognizing individuals and teams for their safe and successful care can boost morale.
”Patient ratios have become too high and need to be seriously re-examined for Medical Oncology.”
“CLABSI, CAUTI, AND C-Diff days since the last incident are all improving; focused work around C-Diff.”
“Improvement made recently in Hand Hygiene compliance.”
Supplies and Equipment
Supply chain issues have impacted all sectors. Many staff are contending with delays and issues regarding critical supplies and equipment they need to perform their job. With awareness about where this is occurring, healthcare organizations can work to develop more effective inventory management and other potential solutions.
“They just need supplies to arrive faster. They also need more scanners. Ordering of new scanners has been delayed until we switch to the new ordering system.”
“This weekend we ran out of CBI bags and waffle mattresses. We need a supply management member here for longer hours.”
“Equipment needs upgrading and space continuously enhanced for efficiency.”