It’s proven that hospitals with an effective culture provide better patient care and outperform competitors. To achieve a desired hospital culture, you must identify what kind of culture you currently have, decide what you want your culture to be, and shift everyone toward the preferred culture.
The easiest way to assess current culture is to simply observe. How does your staffing act? Are they respectful toward higher authority? Do they have the patient’s best interest in mind? How is the temporary staff being treated? Look for common conduct and visible signs. Listen to what your nurses, doctors and patients are telling you. Read reviews of your hospitals. Surveys. And more surveys. Performing initial in-depth surveys for patients is the easiest way to evaluate your culture. Then, continue to conduct follow-up surveys to evaluate progress. These will all give you an idea of what your current hospital culture is like.
What did you learn from your observations? Did you find that your hospital values safely, effective care, respecting the dignity of all who come through your doors? If you said yes to all these, then your hospital is on the right track. If not, then you certainly have some work to do. From here, you can decide what you like about your current culture and, of course, what you need to change.
Things to strive for in a hospital culture:
- Ensuring patient safety
- Attitude of teamwork and open communication
- Equality of staff
- Comfortability in reporting potential hazards without fear of reprimanding
After you’ve decided on a solid hospital culture, it’s now time to move your staffing in that direction. This is definitely a difficult task in the healthcare staffing world with a plethora of temporary staffing and travel nurses coming and going. These are some steps to start with:
- Have a staff meeting. Clearly communicate the culture to your employees and the results you’d like to achieve, and then over communicate and remind them daily.
- Have fun with it by providing incentives for complying with the hospital culture.
- Make the staff feel like they are personally responsible for the successfulness of the hospital.
- Be the leader! The culture will not survive if the authority is not setting the example
Keep it up. Your culture isn’t something you start and then ignore. A strong culture is a result of care and enforcement. How do you know that you are progressing in the right direction? Go back to step 1. Observe, listen and survey. Hopefully you will see the progression from where you started.
Remember you can create the idea of the culture you want, but only your staff can make it a reality.