How Healthcare HR Can Overcome the Challenge of Consumerism

How Healthcare HR Can Overcome the Challenge of Consumerism
Marketing Director

With the healthcare industry’s move towards value-based care, consumerism has become increasingly relevant for the success of healthcare organizations. Research, however, has shown that healthcare employers are not ready for this emerging trend. Although the majority of hospitals and health systems recognize the importance of consumerism most have not put consumerism into action, according to the first annual State of Consumerism in Healthcare survey by Kaufman Hall and Cadent Consulting Group. Emerging healthcare leaders recognize that consumerism is not a program or a problem to be solved, but a key to growth.

Given the recent rise of consumerism in healthcare, the following are three ways healthcare HR can help their organizations overcome the challenges of this trend.

1. Cultivate a ‘Purpose-Oriented’ Workforce

While a purpose-oriented workforce may not be the first response for consumerism, offering consumers a better experience can help your organization thrive in the new healthcare landscape. Research has shown that purpose plays a key role in achieving high performance. In 2015, social enterprise startup Imperative, in partnership with NYU, released the first study of purpose in the U.S. workforce. Purpose-oriented workers, which define the role of work in their lives as a source of personal fulfillment and account for 28% of the U.S. workforce, not only seek purpose in their work, but also create it while outperforming the rest of the workforce, the study states.

2. Organizational Alignment Powered by Culture

Organizational alignment is one of the recommendations made by the Kaufman Hall and Cadent Consulting Group study. While healthcare HR leaders are not the only ones responsible for achieving this strategic objective, they can play a key role by facilitating change through the organization’s culture. According to Dave Ulrich, a Harvard Business Review contributor, HR should follow the following four-step process to change their organization’s culture:

  1. Defining and clarifying the concept of culture change
  2. Articulating why culture is central to business success
  3. Defining a process for assessing the current culture and the desired new culture
  4. Identifying alternative approaches to creating culture change
     

3. Nurturing Employee Engagement for Long-Term Success

Research has also shown that employee engagement can positively impact patient satisfaction. Hospitals in the top 10 percent of employee engagement scored an average of 61 percentile points higher on the HCAHPS Overall Hospital Rating metrics than hospitals in the bottom 10 percent, according to a study in API Healthcare. Employee engagement is so critical to the success of healthcare organizations, that it was the key theme of last year’s American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration (ASHHRA) Conference. Great places to work have strong customer branding, meaning they understand that every team member has a role in building the brand and are proactive in engaging their people along the way, keynote speaker Ann Rhoades stated during the conference.

The rise of consumerism can bring many challenges for healthcare organizations, but healthcare HR can help cultivate a winning team to deliver the quality care consumers and patients expect.

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