How to Be a High-Performing Healthcare Organization
While outcomes have always been important in healthcare, the increasing focus on them to determine revenue has inspired organizations to make improvements across the board to become high-performing organizations. Healthcare HR can serve as the foundation for creating a high-performing healthcare organization.
The consumerization of healthcare has made it easier for people to choose their providers, so standing out as a high-performer is critical. “These organizations instill confidence that they are the best place to receive and deliver care,” says Katie Owens, a healthcare organizational consultant.
Here are some of the characteristics of a high-performing healthcare organization, and how to foster them.
Clarify the Mission, Vision and Strategy
High-performing healthcare organizations have strong vision and a good plan to make it a reality. They’re also adept at communicating that vision and hiring the kinds of people who espouse the same values, starting at the top. “Creating a high-performing healthcare organization needs to be ingrained in a company's culture and be taken seriously from the top down,” says Alison Brehme, Founder and CEO of Virtual Corporate Wellness, a recruiting and retention platform.
Ensuring employees understand the vision and strategy helps create alignment, experts say. “The key is to energize staff from top to bottom with a vision of service where they can easily place themselves in the picture,” business strategy consultant Jeff Skipper says. A clear vision and strategy also create expectations that make it easy for leaders and employees to measure performance and set goals.
Create Systems of Accountability
All businesses need to hold people accountable for their work, but the high stakes of healthcare make accountability vital at every level. Leadership teams need to create high expectations and aspirations for daily and annual achievement, Owens says, and communicate those expectations in a way everyone understands them.
To stay accountable, high-performing healthcare organizations rely on data, Brehme says. Without analyzing the data to compare actions and outcomes, a healthcare organization will only be able to make guesses about ways to improve. She recommends starting with analyzing patients’ claims data, Brehme says, as it can help you understand the costs of providing care and determine whether employees have what they need to provide that care.
Reward the Right Things
Finding the balance between established processes and new ideas can be hard, but a high-performing healthcare organization will reward innovative efforts. “In order to become a high-performing healthcare organization, you need to be hyper-focused on innovation,” says Ed Berde, CEO of Responsive Health, a digital medicine platform. He describes innovation as a “muscle” that helps transform the industry as healthcare organizations change the way they provide care.
Employees need to feel like they have the space to innovate, so look for ways to reward efforts even if they don’t pan out as expected, experts say. Listen to employees to find out what they need and what would be most useful for them, Brehme says. Healthcare organizations thrive when individuals and teams collaborate and celebrate each other’s strengths, so encouraging a culture of recognition helps build teams that get results.
High-performing healthcare organizations don’t just happen. Everyone in the organization can play a role to boost performance, and understanding the factors that determine high performance can help organizations get the most out of employees.