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If you ask the average healthcare provider what’s currently on their mind, they’re likely to say one of three things:

  1. Price competition and payment reform
  2. Moving toward payment for value
  3. Reducing operating expenses

But, healthcare Leaders are more concerned with something else: improving patient safety and clinical outcomes. In fact, according to recent Aberdeen research, Leaders were 57.1% more likely than Followers to list patient outcomes as the most important issue facing their organization and 74.5% more likely to be concerned with improving patient satisfaction.

With policy changes and financial woes mounting for most healthcare providers, what is it that Leaders know and Followers don’t?Users

It’s simple — cultivate a care-centered staff and everything else will follow. This blog will discuss a few ways healthcare providers can ensure that they’re hiring the best possible staff to improve the quality of care and increase patient satisfaction, retention, and loyalty.

Embrace These 5 Hiring Practices to Improve Patient Care

  1. Define Your Values

What does providing quality care meant to you? Does it mean you value efficiency? How about creativity? Or perhaps a caring personality? Before you do anything else, start by defining your organization’s values. Then, use them as your guide throughout the hiring process.

  1. Search for the Right People

Recent research by the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that 4 million healthcare jobs will be added from 2012 to 2022 — more than in any other industry. With the Affordable Care Act and an aging population, a need for a larger staff may create pressure to hire lackluster candidates to fill gaps. But searching across state lines and time zones for the right professionals will benefit you in the long run with better care, reduced turnover costs, and more returning patients. Cast a wide net, and use technologies such as video interviewing to appeal to long-distance candidates.

  1. Use Pre-hire Assessments

Pre-hire screenings measure essential traits that resumes and cover letters don’t. These include cultural fit, personality, and cognitive ability. They allow organizations to handpick candidates that embrace their values and show the most promise, effectively reducing employee turnover and lowering time and cost per hire. As if that weren’t enough evidence, Leaders are 18% more likely than Followers to use pre-hire assessments.

  1. Ask the Right Interview Questions

Include behavioral-based questions in interviews to get at the heart of what you really want from your candidates. Behavioral-based questioning follows the assumption that past behaviors often predict future acts. Questions such as “Tell me about your most difficult patient experience” or “Tell me about a time you had to go above and beyond the call of duty” will provide insights into candidates’ priorities and how they handle stressful or sensitive situations.

  1. Evaluate Soft Skills 

Communication skills are vital to healthcare professionals. Without them, critical diagnostic information might be missed, or patients could fail to follow instructions. But employees need to not only effectively convey information, but also do so in a sensitive manner. Assess friendliness, attentiveness, and patience during the interview to get a glimpse of candidates’ bedside manners.

Applying hiring practices that create the kind of facility where patients come first will mean healthier patients and a financially healthier future for your organization.

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