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What’s Trending in Healthcare HR Analytics?

You’re probably hearing “data” and “analytics” tossed around frequently but not sure which trends are meaningful or beneficial. We’ve cut through the clutter for you and boiled the trends down to the top five, along with the risk/challenge and benefit of each.

1. More Data & More Measurement: Many survey vendors and so-called “thought leaders” out there are touting the concept of “continuous listening” when it comes to surveys – meaning that organizations should be surveying their people all the time – or at least very often. However, we DO NOT recommend simply increasing the frequency for the sake of more measurement. There must be a measurement strategy with specific benefits and outcomes.

Risk or Challenge: Over surveying, lack of action, survey fatigue, low response rates

Benefit: When strategic, understand employee lifecycle, better information, pinpointed diagnosis of issues, better decisions

2. Integration of Data: HR needs to think beyond data sources that specifically relate to the employee and consider integrating traditional data sources with business metrics (e.g. HCAHPS, patient satisfaction). Although many questions can be answered using one data source, more strategic questions often require data from two or more sources.

Risk or Challenge: Working across silos and resistance to data sharing; data in different systems requires expertise in pulling data to one location and format

Benefit: Effective utilization of data sources to enable advanced analytic approaches; uncover connections between people data and business data; able to tell the whole story

3. Linking HR Data to Business Metrics: HR is in a state of transition, moving from a concentration on meeting internal metrics to identifying the links between metrics. Accumulation of data itself is not that interesting. The real utility of big data comes when it is used in predictive analytics. The outcome? Better talent decisions.

Risk or Challenge: HR becomes accountable for demonstrating ROI and change

Benefits: HR is able to become a strategic business partner for the organization; help make strategic business decisions; show value in HR initiatives

4. Analytics to Front Line Managers: Too often HR analytics projects stop with a PowerPoint presentation to senior leaders. This results in a series of HR initiatives to drive systemic (organizational) changes – e.g., a new series of courses for managers. You will see the most impact when the analytics are cascaded throughout the organization (all the way to the front line).

Risk or Challenge: Keeping it simple and actionable for managers; communicate what it means and how to use it; comfort of managers in receiving this information if this is new for them

Benefits: Managers are informed and empowered with an understanding of their workgroups and where they need to focus to drive the business; alignment and focus on action across all levels

5. Clinical vs. Non-Clinical: You’ve probably already been treating these two employee populations differently – perhaps with targeted measures on employee surveys. But, are you using analytics to uncover unique aspects of the employee experience for clinical vs. non-clinical (e.g., differences in drivers of turnover, unique competency models, different developmental needs)?

Risk or Challenge: Potentially adding a layer of complexity to the analysis and providing results

Benefits: Clear understanding of the differences among the two employee populations. This should be part of your measurement strategy in the healthcare setting


Medical team desktop with doctors and medical equipment

It’s Time to Operate (on your Talent Strategy): How HR Can Improve HCAHPS Scores & Readmissions

Are you exhausted from not having the answers to the following questions? Do HCAHPS scores drive readmissions? Or do readmissions drive HCAHPS scores? Wonder no longer – we have uncovered the answers. And, with the results from the research we conducted, you will be able to identify and address barriers to good performance and significantly improve HCAHPS scores, clinical process compliance, and readmission rates.

We performed an analysis of four years of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) data at more than 3,000 healthcare facilities, which brought together multiple data points including HCAHPS scores, clinical care processes, and readmissions, as well as controls for hospital demographics (location and size). This study represents the most comprehensive analysis of CMS data us­ing advanced, cause-effect analytic techniques and conclusively determines which factors most affect patient care and satisfaction.

The study revealed that the five key drivers found to directly impact outcomes critical to hospi­tal performance and reimbursements, in order, are as follows. It’s important for you to note that, counter to some prevailing wisdom, physician communication with patients is not a key driver of overall HCAHPS.

  1. Communication between nurses and patients
  2. Pain management
  3. Medication and discharge instructions
  4. How quiet the patient care area is
  5. How clean the patient care area is

Now, it’s time for you to roll up your sleeves and start operating. No scalpel or forceps needed. Based on the evidence presented in this research, you can enhance and refine your talent strategies to create an effective hiring process that accurately assesses the skills that will drive HCAHPS.

Hiring: There is a clear business case to be made for developing a comprehensive hiring process for all patient-facing employees and leaders.

Employee Surveys: Leaders have a unique opportunity to establish a competitive advantage by using the same cause-effect approach in linking employee engagement survey results directly to their HCAHPS scores.

Competency Models: This analytics tool also provides leaders a platform to build compe­tency models for managers and staff to improve HCAHPS scores.

360 Assessments: Similar to employee surveys, 360 assessments that rate competencies and behaviors are an effective way to uncover the specific, local behaviors that directly affect HCAHPS rankings, with key behavior ratings directly linked to HCAHPS scores and the ability to gauge which actions will have the greatest impact.

Leadership Development: Programs that focus directly on interpersonal skills allow healthcare leaders to leverage evidence demonstrating the business case for commu­nications as a cause-effect driver of HCAHPS, Clinical Care Processes compliance, and readmission rates.