Engaging Front Line Employees to Drive Change

Engaging Front Line Employees to Drive Change

Make them operational/procedure and patient comfort auditors!
‘Wait a minute I just perform patient intake information’.
‘And I conduct patient state of condition as they are received into one of the examination rooms’.
‘All I do is to administer the medicines in following the doctors diagnosis and educate the patient on how and when and with what each drug should be taken with’.
‘We are the tech department and we just do tests that the doctor has requested’.
‘I’m in records and all I do is receive, file and manage the patient records for future use as directed under the facilities policy and procedures and the HIPA regulations’.

All of these practitioners that interact with the patient are experts in their own area of service in delivering treatment and managing the patient experience. Whether they are on the front end of providing services or interact days, months and even years after the initial need for medical services have been made, the utilization of that staff person’s knowledge of the required procedure and how it interacts with other departments determines the level of efficiency, patient experience and ultimately how that facility performs and operates.

To the rescue.
By engaging the employees knowledge from the onset of meeting the patient the facility immediately begins to collect data on procedural efficiency, patient confidence in the process of treatment and an unexpected bonus of cost efficiency in the delivery of services real time. The benefit for the employees is that they become part of the ‘management’ of their department in a meaningful way. They become a part of the overall improvement of running and maintaining their unit. As adults they build on their professional development and self-efficacy/self-worth. Their self-esteem is intrinsic to the welfare of the organization. Additionally a reward system can be established upon which to drive continual improvements.

An example:
A patient comes in for muscle pain in their legs and patient intake is performed. Medical history is collected and treatment is administered accordingly. During the process a technician recognizes that a procedure could be substituted for an alternative process while gaining more insight as to what is going on with this particular patient. By sharing this information with their colleagues during a daily, weekly or even monthly staff meeting administration can be assured the most current procedures and or equipment for such a condition is being sought. (Budgetary considerations would be addressed by the department unit director and the facilities administration and operations for defined, large investments). In many cases the adjustment that is needed is small and or more procedural than massive changes that would typically be driven from the executive level of the facility.

Executive and management level will have to come from a human system mindset that is open and flexible for such interaction across all level of staff to work. The encouragement of employee interaction to foster such engagement would not only have to come from the executive level rather middle management and administration would have to be self-confident and rewarded in fostering such a climate of interaction. The reward system would recognize those that support as much as it rewards those that bring to the front such ideas that incrementally improve the overall operations of the facility.

A shift in the style of management being reinforced with rewards for team building and recognizing operational efficiencies. This is how front line employees drive constant change by being operational, procedural and patient comfort auditors!

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