Posts from June, 2014

Why Are Hospital Workers Sicker?

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 26th, 2014

Towers Watson’s 2012 Global Workforce Study examined attitudes and perceptions of more than 32,000 workers around the world and surveyed 1,055 hospital employees in the U.S. The survey asked respondents to self-report a range of health conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes and unhealthy cholesterol levels. They found that U.S. hospital employees reported, on average, 15% more health conditions than the average U.S. worker. In addition, 19% of U.S. hospital workers said they were managing two or more health conditions, compared with 13% of U.S. workers.

sick nurseThese findings are consistent with a Thomson Reuters analysis showing that hospital workers are nearly 9% more likely than the U.S. workforce overall to be diagnosed with chronic medical conditions.

An unhealthy workforce is a costly workforce. Ironically, given the fact that hospitals have the resources and experience to manage wellness, the hospital workers in our Global Workforce Study said their employers fell short in this area. Fewer than half of the U.S. hospital employees said their employer supported their health and well-being.

To increase the health of your hospital employee, saving money and lives, learn about my SelfCare for HealthCare™ program. Contact me directly to discuss bringing this powerful program to your employees.

Work Life Balance: Take a Hike! (In a Good Way)

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 24th, 2014

Nurse Retention Shortens Patient Hospital Stays

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 19th, 2014

Longer nurse tenures result in shorter patient length of stay and better quality of care, according to a study published in the American Economics Journal: Applied Economics.

The study reviewed 900,000 patient admissions over four years in the Veterans Administration Healthcare System. Each one-year increase in nurse tenure was linked to a 1.3 percent decrease in patient length of star. Conversely, adding new nurse team members or losing experienced team members both lengthened patient stays.

patient satisfaction The study also found that paying staff nurses to work overtime instead of hiring temporary staff resulted in lower costs and shorter length of stays.

Researchers concluded the study’s findings should inform healthcare executives of the importance of retaining nursing staff and should affect their policy-making decisions concerning nurse retention and staffing.

To learn how in increase nurse retention and patient satisfaction visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me directly to set up a complimentary consult about improving your organization’s overall health.

Nurse Retention: How to Reduce Nurse Burnout

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 17th, 2014

In a survey administered to healthcare workers at 44 neonatal intensive care units, burnout ranged from 7.5% to 54.4%, according to a study in BMJ Quality & Safety.

Physicians tended to report less burnout (15.1% on average) than non-physicians (26.9% on average). Additionally, NICUs reporting more burnout also reported lower perceptions of “teamwork climate,” safety climate, job satisfaction, perceptions of management and working conditions.

Nurses Patient SatisfactionResearchers conclude NICU caregiver burnout appears to be associated with lower perceptions of an organization’s commitment to patient safety culture.

Caregivers who are nurtured in mind, body and spirit rarely burn out. To learn how to care for your caregivers, improve patient care, increase nurse retention and decrease nurse burnout, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Think about the impact this program can have on your culture and productivity…Let’s talk today!

How to Increase Patient Satisfaction

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 12th, 2014

There has been lots of coverage in the media these days about employee engagement. Gallup’s “State of The American Workplace,” released earlier this year, indicated that as astounding 52% of all full-time workers in the country are not involved in or enthusiastic about their work, and an additional 18% are “actively disengaged.” That leaves about 30% of the workforce who actually enjoy the work they’re doing!

At many healthcare organizations, with all of the stress, angst and pressure associated with delivering healthcare today, there’s a good chance that this number is even lower.

The mission of healthcare is to serve patients at the most vulnerable times in their lives. The ability to deliver care that is comprehensive and compassionate is extremely critical. The emergency of HCAHPS brings the issue of patient satisfaction to the forefront making it a high priority now.

Taking care of the youngEngaged employees drive the patient experience. A caregiver who is given tools to grow strong in mind, body and spirit is more engaged, delivers better patient care, resulting in higher patient satisfaction.

According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, dissatisfied customers will tell nine to 15 people about their negative experience. About 13% of your dissatisfied patients will tell more than 20 people. Compare this with those happy patients who will only tell, on average, about four to six people. It’s easy to do the math.

To learn how to increase employee engagement and improve patient satisfaction scores visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. To bring this powerful program to your facility to improve nurse retention and nurse recruitment, contact me today.

Nursing News: How Nurses Relieve Chronic Pain and Suffering

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 10th, 2014

New research highlights the psychological distress seen in people who have chronic pain, and discusses different ways support from nurses and other people in the patients’ lives can reduce this suffering.

Lead author Marianne Matthias, PhD, told Pain Medicine News that the value the nurses provide lies in both the delivery of the study intervention, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and in the human contact and caring involved.

Dr. Matthias, a research snurse talkingcientist at the VA Health Services Research & Development Center for Health Information and Communication, Roudebush VA Medical Center, Indianapolis, said that many of the participants clung to the support, motivation, encouragement and listening they got from the nurse care manager. Participants talked about how the nurse was so valuable, not just in terms of the CBT, but because he/she listened and was empathetic and cared.

This model should be extended to treatment of all Americans who have chronic pain because nurses have great teaching skills and provide an important human connection to the patients. One of the real barriers getting these interventions to patients is the shortage of people to deliver it.

To learn about nurse recruitment and nurse retention, go to SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to talk about your facility’s needs.

Work Life Balance: For Self Care and Creativity, Take a Walk

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 5th, 2014

Recent research shows that walking boosts creative thinking. Stanford University in California compared levels of creativity in people while they walked with while they sat, and they discovered creative output went up by an average of 60% while walking.

Many people claim that they come up with their best ideas during walks. Steve Jobs, late co-founder of Apple, used to hold meetings while walking, and Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, does the same.

Now, Stanford’s researchers explain why. They found that the act of walking itself, whether indoors or outdoors, boosts creative inspiration. In one experiment, they found that compared with sitting down, walking indoors on a treadmill facing a blank wall or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses. In another experiment they discovered that walking outside resulted in 100% of participants generating at least one high-quality complex analogy, compared with only 50% when sitting indoors.

walking for work life balance and creativityOne of the key questions to investigate will be to determine if it is just walking, or any form of mild physical activity, that effects creativity.

This study is proof that integrating bouts of physical activity into the day, whether walking at home with family, or turning a meeting at work into a walking one, makes us healthier, and more creative.

To learn more tools for self care, caring for the minds, bodies and spirits of your caregivers, visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to talk about bringing this life-changing program to your staff!

Nurse Retention: Health Care Reform Has Changed Nurses’ Roles

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, June 3rd, 2014

Nurses are preparing for expanded roles due to health care reform, helping to serve an influx of people with better access to health care. Care coordination, health coaching, telemedicine and advanced practice are just some of the areas impacted that also affect nurse retention and nurse recruitment.

Health care reform does present its challenges, but it also presents opportunities. Nursing schools need to educate students to enter new health care settings, particularly in the community and in preventative care and health promotion.

That’s the challenge – to make sure the educational preparation will match and exceed what will be happening with health care reform, which seems to be a moving target.

Another challengNurse Retention Toolse is ensuring the staff to address the increased patient load. Now all areas of health care are facing staff shortages. That opens opportunities for a broader use of Advanced Practice Nurse Practitioners, particularly in rural areas where access to health care is limited.

We nurses are going to keep providing care to these people no matter what laws are passed or not passed.

To learn more about wildly successful nurse retention and nurse recruitment strategies visit SelfCare for HealthCare™ and let me know if you like to take about implementing this program at your facility.