Press Ganey Report Highlights Challenges, Solutions to Improving Hospital Employee Partnership

Annual Hospital Pulse Report Finds Employees Working Directly With Patients Are the Least Satisfied

Jun 14, 2010, 08:00 ET from Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

SOUTH BEND, Ind., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitals seeking to provide high-quality, patient-centered care must first focus on improving the quality of relationships with their employees, according to the 2010 Hospital Pulse Report: Employee and Nurse Perspectives on American Health Care from Press Ganey Associates. The Hospital Pulse Report found that 45% of hospital employees feel distanced from or discontent with their current work, indicating a vital need for hospital administrators to ensure employees feel valued and empowered.

Rather than simply concentrating on any single basic employee need, such as pay, benefits or quality of daily work, partnerships are created when employees are both satisfied and engaged. To achieve this, the report's findings suggest that hospitals focus on creating an environment where employees feel an emotional bond with colleagues as well as with the overall organization. Based on the experience of the Press Ganey Consulting Group, organizations that take steps to partner in this way with their employees have seen increased employee retention, increased patient satisfaction and a healthier fiscal bottom line.

The report examines the experiences of more than 235,000 employees at nearly 400 U.S. hospitals. Other key findings include:

  • Among all employees surveyed, those working closest to patient care have the lowest partnership scores. In other words, these employees are the least likely to feel satisfied and engaged with their organization.
  • There is a generation gap when it comes to both employee satisfaction and needs. Employees born in 1945 or earlier tend to be the most satisfied while younger employees are the least satisfied. Both Gen Y, or Millennial, and Gen X employees have a greater need to receive recognition, to be included in decisions and to engage in real-time communication with hospital administration.
  • There is a strong correlation between patient satisfaction and employee partnership. As a result, hospital leaders who can provide the best environment for employees will reap the reward of better patient care.

"This annual report offers an in-depth look at what drives partnership among hospital employees, which is a key component to maintaining and improving the quality of patient care," said Deirdre Mylod, PhD, vice president, hospital services, Press Ganey. "We found hospital employees want to be recognized for excellent work, but they also want to be involved in the decision-making process and have the opportunity to provide input on issues directly affecting their work, so they feel empowered to do their jobs. It is critical for hospitals to take considerations like these into account when planning employee relations initiatives."

The 2010 Hospital Pulse Report: Employee and Nurse Perspectives on American Health Care is available at:

Case Study

Data from the report is helpful to hospitals that are committed to improving performance. For example, Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in north suburban Detroit was placed in just the 26th percentile nationally for overall partnership score, according to a March 2007 Press Ganey employee satisfaction survey.

Following feedback from the 2007 survey, hospital leaders created a cross-departmental Employee Pride/Satisfaction Team to work on a number of projects. Efforts included:

  • Hospital-wide communication, with senior leaders attending department meetings to learn first-hand the challenges facing managers and employees.
  • An improved intranet site where employees and physicians can recognize one another for exceptional acts of caring – just one of many rewards and recognition activities.
  • Events and outings to build community.

The result was a 5.4-point jump in the overall partnership mean score in Crittenton's 2010 Press Ganey Employee Partnership Survey, which pushed the hospital to the 76th percentile nationally, up from the 56th percentile in 2008 and just the 26th percentile in 2007.

Perhaps the single most tangible sign of the success of the program is a dramatic reduction in staff turnover. In 2007, total hospital turnover was 10.7%. By 2009, it had plummeted to just 5%.

Among nurses, the improvement has been nothing short of spectacular. In 2007, RN turnover was an unhealthy 15.5%. By 2009, it was just 1.2%.

Press Ganey Associates, Inc.

For 25 years, Press Ganey has been committed to providing insight that allows health care organizations to improve the quality of care they provide while improving their bottom-line results. The company offers the largest comparative customer feedback databases, actionable data, solution resources and unparalleled consulting and customer service. Press Ganey currently partners with more than 10,000 health care facilities — including over 40% of U.S. hospitals — to measure and improve the quality of their care. For more information visit

SOURCE Press Ganey Associates, Inc.