By Scott Mathews, freelance writer.
Data is the future of healthcare, especially when it’s combined with new technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. As we generate more and more healthcare data, we increase the potential for us to discover deep insights that might otherwise have gone undiscovered.
Data analysis can be used to enhance drug discovery by running simulations and identifying areas of potential research. It could also be used to provide a kind of Netflix of healthcare which provides personalized recommendations for every patient based on what’s worked well for other, similar patients.
And of course, it can also be used to improve employee engagement. After all, it’s these front line employees that are interacting with patients and acting as the face of your organisation. An engaged employee can make all of the difference, both to your bottom line and to the patient’s prognosis.
Here are seven tips to help you to get started.
You can’t track whether your efforts are having an impact if you’re not tracking employee engagement in the first place. Bernice Winters of XpertWriters.com recommends using 360-degree feedback programs at regular intervals and adds that you can never gather too much data. “Even if you don’t need that data today,” she says, “you never know when you might need it in the future.”
Choose the right metrics
If you try to measure too much, you stretch yourself too thin and spend more time logging the data than acting on what you’ve learned. If you measure too little, you find yourself with insufficient data to make effective decisions. You’ll also want to ask questions that are specific to your business so that you can dig deeper.
Provide data-led training
Edward Laws of CareersBooster.com says that any company that isn’t providing training is failing to invest in its own future. In the healthcare industry, employers have a responsibility to provide training to staff so that they’re providing the best service possible. Data-led solutions can help you to identify weaknesses and to help employees to address them before it’s too late.
Check in with people
Logging metrics and crunching the numbers will only get you so far. For the data that you gather to be effective, you need to make sure that you take that data and use it to make plans and then that you monitor the results that you receive. Then take the time to check in with people to let them know the tangible impact that their actions have had.
It’s never been more important for the healthcare industry to address the security of the data that it handles. Hackers can pose a very real threat to both patient and employee data, and if your company has a reputation for poor security, you can bet your employees will be nervous. And nervous employees are rarely fully engaged.
Make a habit of storing CVs for both current employees and potential hires, preferably in a centralised system that can be accessed throughout the organisation. John Oates of Resumes Planet says this helps to encourage promotion from within and to lengthen the average amount of time that employees choose to stay with you.
Remind them of their purpose
Data won’t tell you what gets people out of bed in the mornings, but it can help you to quantify the difference that they’re making. For example, providing employees with data on patient satisfaction rates and average waiting times, as well as rewarding them for any improvements, can help to bring meaning to employees and remind them why they do what they do.
There’s a direct link between employee engagement and overall customer satisfaction, with one survey in the healthcare industry determining that 85 percent of engaged employees display a caring attitude towards patients, compared to only 38 percent of disengaged employees.
The good news is that a data-led approach to employee engagement can help us to usher in changes to our organisations that give employees a reason to feel engaged in their workplace. Just remember not to lean on the data too heavily because your employees are still individual human beings and there’s no one size fits all approach that will work for everyone. It’s all about finding the right combination between data and the human touch. Good luck.