In the last few blogs we’ve written about employee engagement in health care and presented some examples of how the process can benefit hospitals and other facilities. There is another reason for health care personnel to consider employee engagement that can be expressed in one word:
One of the benefits derived from employee engagement is cost savings. Whether it is in a manufacturing plant, a school, or a hospital, effectively involved employees can find opportunities for cost savings.
Finding ways to improve patient care will certainly be the primary objective of most involvement teams. The need to control costs in order to be competitive and reduce expenses for patients and other customers must still be addressed. When considering possible projects, engagement teams should consider their possible financial impact. The costs involved with the issue on which the team is working should be considered and appropriate measures determined to gauge the impact of the project on costs. This can help the team maintain a focus on ways to reduce expenses as they work.
For example, a team working on ways to streamline scheduling may be primarily concerned about improving the quality of care. They should also consider the costs that could result from increased overtime expenses when examining possible solutions.
Individual projects do not have to produce huge or fast returns. Small things add up over time. Even seemingly small savings can build up over time and volume to produce significant results.
Teams should also consider the intangible returns associated with their work. Time savings resulting from making patient records more easily accessible also results in decreased costs by reducing lost time waiting for records. While this return may be difficult to measure, the result is still beneficial.
There are many reasons to involve employees in improving health care systems. Saving money could be the primary objective of a work team or it may be a secondary benefit, but the ability to enhance the bottom line is another benefit from effective employee engagement.