HR | High Performing Healthcare Organizations

Reuters recently selected the top 100 hospitals in 2012, based on objective independent public performance data. Unlike many lists of “the best”, healthcare systems do not apply to be considered for the Top 100 List. The most successful organizations ranged from large urban teaching centers to small rural hospitals. Integrated into the Top 100 is the Everest Awards, which honors hospitals that have achieved both the highest current performance and the fastest long-term improvement over five years. Reuters also reported in August, 2011, the views of the CEOs within the 100 most successful healthcare organizations.

Strong patterns emerged from the study that continue to be accurate in 2012:

  1. Commitment to quality with strong communications and highly systematic management throughout the organization
  2. Maintaining strong collaborative relationships with physicians and with staff, who share the same vision for quality standards

“If you have great physicians and you surround them with talent, you can do anything”, said one CEO.

Further studies, apart from the top hospitals, indicate the changing roles of the C-Suite. Each C-Suite member interviewed emphasized the strength in results when there are strong collaborative relationships and a commitment to quality standards.

The collaboration in sharing the same vision for quality standards, as indicated by the interviews, also involves a heavy focus in performance data.

An example of performance data is the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).  Public reporting of survey results allows consumers to compare the performance of hospitals in their area and offers transparency. A major component of performance scoring is the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid’s Value-based Purchasing Program (VBP).

VBP is an initiative that “will reward hospitals that provide high quality care and
keep their patients healty,”  says HH Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Starting in October 2012, this program will affect Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates.

When a core value of an organization is a strong commitment to quality, Human Resources is instrumental in collaborating to provide strong communications and highly systematic management, also as indicated important core values by the CEOs of the Top Hospitals. HR is also instrumental in leading strong collaborative relationships among all staff members and communicating the vision for quality standards. HR utilizes those core values to shape a strategic plan for a high performing healthcare organization.

Six areas of focus:

Integrating core values into the selection process with quality hire results – Recruitment

Integrating systematic communications methods that teach and prioritize core values – Education and Communications

Integrating  systems to assure positive employee relations and to appropriately develop proactive programs – Employee Relations

Integrating career development, providing education opportunities to develop within healthcare – Career Development

Integrating communicated standards and expectations into Pay for Performance plans at every level, and on an organizational, departmental and individual basis , that encourages and reward high standards, along with the appropriate wage systems – Employee Accountability

Providing a measuring and monitoring system to assure the recruitment and selection process is resulting in quality hires, and that employee relations is moving in a positive direction, and assuring the education and communications systems are working – HR.

While the organization is meeting the data driven goals, it is important to continue to be mindful of relationships, the patients, and maintaining a united vision.


Top 100 Hospitals – Reuters April, 2012
Top 100 Hospitals: CEO Insights – Reuters August, 2011
Focus on the C-Suite: Integrator in Chief – H&HN magazine. Howard Larkin. January 2012
Focus on the C-Suite: CMO: Influencer in Chief -H&HN magazine Howard Larkin March, 2012
Healthcare HR and the Bottom Line: 5 Focus Areas for Improving HCAHPS Scores. White Paper -





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