The healthcare industry is experiencing new and increasingly dramatic stressors that are impacting businesses across the board. The Affordable Care Act, along with a shift from a pay-for-procedure to a pay-for-value model are both key drivers of change. Couple that with the importance of patient satisfaction scores, and you have an industry that is in need of a radical transformation.

In order to support this change, Best-in-Class health care institutions are placing an emphasis on the role that soft skills play in patient satisfaction scores. Soft skills refer to personal attributes that enable an individual to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. In other words, it is especially important, research shows, that patient-facing hospital staff practice good bedside manner.

Patients now have the power to rate their level of satisfaction on surveys called Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS). These patient satisfaction scores are very important as they affect your organization’s profitability through reimbursements based upon how well your organization is rated by its patients.

In response to this, recent Aberdeen research shows that Best-in-Class healthcare organizations are seeking out soft skills during the hiring process at a rate that is considerably greater than All Others (Figure 1 above).  Assessing candidates for requisite soft-skills during the evaluation phase of the hiring process makes far more sense than discovering a void in these skills after the candidate is hired.

To learn more about the importance of soft skills, and how to evaluate them, read our recent report, Linking Soft Skills in Patient-Facing Staff to Hospital Satisfaction Scores.