The Final Frontier: Reduce Turnover and Differentiate Your Patient Experience

Guest post by Dr. Jennifer Yugo, chief scientist, Corvirtus.

Jennifer Yugo, PhD, SPHR
Jennifer Yugo, PhD, SPHR

This is a time of tremendous growth and change in healthcare. As in any industry, growth sparks competition as patients have more and more providers from which to choose. From the supply side, this means increased competition for new, repeat, and referral patients. Simultaneously, providers are being pressed to reduce costs while improving the patient experience as they compete for market share.

Healthcare is becoming more competitive as patients have more choices and better information about their choices, especially through social media. To compete, providers have to focus on delivering quality service, a compelling patient experience, and – like competitors in retail – generate buzz.

Our research shows that a healthcare provider’s employees are the most significant contributor to delivering quality, being compelling, and generating buzz. The first component of this formula is ensuring you are hiring the right people. These are employees who perform, fit, and stay.

Pre-employment assessments are widely used across other industries as a key ingredient to quality. Healthcare is a final frontier where personality tests can be leveraged to improve individual and team performance, reduce costs, and most importantly, improve and differentiate patient care.

Sadly, healthcare positions are often viewed as “The Untouchables” where intuition and gut-instinct for hiring and management are used over evidence-based best practices. Following our intuition often results in hiring the wrong people – those who do not perform, are difficult to work with, and either quit or get fired.

Turnover is a huge component of costs and an obstacle to improving care, as well as the patient experience. With shortage of 68,000 primary care physicians predicted by 2025, consider the cost of turnover for one physician:

While less per employee, turnover costs for nurses and nursing assistants can match or exceed those of physicians because of volume. Many facilities experience turnover rates as high as 400 percent. By 2025, a shortage of 260,000 nurses is anticipated and the costs of turnover below will only increase. Consider the turnover costs for one nursing staff member:

It is obvious that healthcare employers will not be able to recruit their way out of these shortages. The only viable approach is to work on increasing quality hires. The first step in this process is science-based hiring assessments.

How can your business beat the turnover odds, save money and create intentional patient experiences? Work with experienced consultants who can help you establish a pre-hiring process that actively evaluates and measures candidate for fit.

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