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How Can a Support Department Like Human Resources Improve its Score?

Question

We completed an internal survey targeting those areas that support staff in taking care of patients. One area that scored particularly low was human resources. They were concerned when they saw a mean score in the 40s related to accuracy and in the 50s related to timeliness. They very much want to improve but don’t know where to start.

Answer

It’s important to remember that scores can be low at first because this is the first time people have been asked for their feedback. Your hospital is making a positive move to improve health care and make a difference. I recommend having human resources focus on the positive responses they received in order to get buy in from the HR staff. Together with the HR Team, go through the survey and identify areas that moved from good to very good if you have previous results. Or, if it’s the first time, look at who gave you high marks. This will help gain their confidence and inspire them to keep going. Then, focus on one or two poor responses that the staff feels are important to tackle. Ask managers of these areas to identify focus points to improve service. Create expectations with those managers that you can bring back to your staff, reach agreement on, and use in your rounding and communication.

Holding an expectation meeting early with each area you serve is a must to set a platform for success. Ask the leader to identify what your service would look like if he were very satisfied, building off of his feedback on the survey. You can then set expectations on a reasonable time frame and identify areas where you need the leader’s assistance.