As someone who has been an employee of several parts of the U.S healthcare system, I believe that the healthcare system's biggest problem is not poor systems or processes. Its people.
People are the one factor that's nearly impossible to redesign and control. This is what really makes healthcare so hard to change. We all want to fill appreciated and fulfilled. But as most will tell you, thats hard to ensure in an industry focused on sick patients.
My experiences in larger hospital systems have pretty much cosigned this notion. Administrative staff specifically, are the ones working behind the scenes and on the front lines to make it as easy as possible for clinical staff to actually treat patients!
Now, I understand that when working in a hospital, most managers are more distracted with caring for patients than employees (it is basically a customer service industry after all)... but the lack of employee engagement, development opportunities, and in some cases respect towards employees, contributes to many hospitals waste and inefficiency problem.
No shade towards hospital though... because I know from experience, hospital administration can be a thankless job. Typically when you work in hospital administration, (unless you’re in upper management, away from the front desk) you're doing the same few tasks for hundreds of different personalities and moods for a minimum of eight hours a day, five days a week. You’re getting yelled at by patients on the regular, and you have very little say in how your job is actually done. Additionally, large hospitals are notorious for hiring temps and paying very little. Now I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I would have pictured my long-term career. No wonder people are unengaged!!
Managers really need to focus on developing their employees. While I was in school, I was asked to work on a project within a large hospital. We did all of this research and work to restructure one process within that department using lean methodology. We were really just doing what the client asked. But the whole time I’m thinking, this solution might work for a few months, but this department's real problem is that
keep having to hire new employees for the same position, and
this department literally wastes time and resources hiring only temps who keep having to be retrained, rather than hiring one employee and investing in them so that they stay on the job.
But let me hop off of my soap box, because I know its much easier said than done. Hospital administration is a really important job that functions primarily on how efficient and effective employees are at their job. Some of the most successful organizations in the world are ones that put an emphasis on their employees development and success, and healthcare might need to take a look into that mantra.
But as always, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the healthcare system valuing their employees!
Drop a comment below!