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Customer service within the healthcare arena is an integral part of a patients’ experience. Consumers demand a high level of care from their providers and are quick to share negative experiences should they have one. A recent report by The Point of Care Foundation stated that employee engagement shapes the patient experiences – both good and bad.

When employees are engaged they are committed to the organizations goals and values. They are motivated to perform their very best. High employee engagement results in increased productivity and financial performance for the organization. For the employee, it means less absenteeism, reduced stress levels and greater overall job satisfaction.

If healthcare employees are engaged in the care they are providing patients, patients will respond positively. Each employee that interacts with patients, from the people who answer the phones to the people who check patients out, is an integral part of defining the patient experience. Yet studies show that the front desk staff is often the least engaged in a healthcare organization. If we want to improve the patient experience, this is the perfect place to start.

In order for employees to feel engaged in the workplace, they must feel the organization is committed to their growth and development. It is a collaborative effort. Employees should receive well-structured feedback and ongoing training for both personal and career development. Specific goals for quality and safety should be put into place. Managers must receive ongoing training on how to effectively manage different personality types. Employees should also feel that they have a voice that is listened to and acted upon when appropriate.

Keeping employees engaged is not an easy task. Like any relationship, it must be nurtured. If organizations invest time and resources towards improving employee engagement, they will see their patient satisfaction and financial performance rates climb.