(From the Spring 2013 issue of Everything Matters: In Patient Care)
Linda Stoverock, RN, MSN, NEA-BC
Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer
Nationwide Children’s Hospital relies on attracting and retaining the best and brightest staff to support our mission and our strategic plan to provide optimal care. We understand the direct link between employee and patient satisfaction. We want staff to feel their best so they can be at their optimal for patients and families. The employee satisfaction survey is one method to check on how well we are doing. The 2012 survey, with a 70 percent response rate, demonstrated our employees’ strong commitment to our mission and values and a 70 percent response rate.
The organization’s focus on quality, safety and service over the past two years helped improve scores in the areas of teamwork and of staff feeling their departments provide very safe care and high quality care. Two areas with some of the greatest increase in scores were staff and physicians working well together and a high level of staff able to recommend Nationwide Children’s to family and friends.
While the quality, safety and service work have created positive feelings, the rapid pace of change and new initiatives also left staff feeling overworked. The winter of 2012 was a very busy season for Nationwide Children’s. Training and preparing to move into the new main hospital was exciting yet required a lot of additional work and change. In an effort to respond to the challenges of the fluctuating volumes of patients during viral season, the winter flex staffing plan was implemented for the current season. To date, it has been widely successful in helping staff create work-life balance with planned schedules and incentives to demonstrate appreciation for the additional help.
I held a series of town hall meetings in January to discuss additional areas with opportunity for improvement. The dialogue with staff was fruitful in offering ways to manage communications in a rapidly changing, growing organization. I will hold a follow-up series of town hall meetings mid-year to communicate improvements related to the survey.
In the past five years, Nationwide Children’s has become a national pediatric leader. Our facility offers state-of-the-art care. But none of this is possible without each and every one of the employees who work together to live out our value of One Team. Together, we can continue to make Nationwide Children’s the best place to work for those who want to help children and their families.