Want Better Patient-Centered Care? Create Better Internal Alignment First.

The healthcare industry is fighting an uphill battle.

1. As Baby Boomers retire in droves, high turnover rates and fierce competition for quality candidates are fierce, creating a unique and challenging staffing crisis.  

Result: Health systems are losing their most well-integrated employees while struggling to bring new team members up to speed.

2. Healthcare companies are merging or being acquired at an unprecedented rate (with 115 health system transactions taking place in 2017).  At the same time, we’re seeing many hospitals expand quickly into new regions. 

Result: In either case, more “new people” are brought on that need a thorough—but quick—understanding of organizational values, vision and processes. 

3. Mergers and retirements can also mean changes at the leadership level… but it’s the leaders that need to clearly define the organization’s vision so that everyone understands and buys into it. 

Result: Executive shake-ups prevent cohesive top-down messaging and alignment.

4. Regulations, industry standards and payer protocols are all stimulating process changes within healthcare organizations. 

Result: Even long-standing employees may struggle to keep up with the latest processes that dictate how they’re supposed to do their jobs. 

To get ahead in an age where consumers are more discerning, regulations are stricter and revenue depends on providing high-quality care more than ever, you need everyone in your organization to align with objectives, expectations, processes and organizational values. 

In the words of Howard Grant, JD, MD, President and CEO, Lahey Health,

“Engagement is the most critical ingredient of an organization’s success because a committed workforce is far more likely to deliver the highest quality, most compassionate and most efficient care. And clear communication is a key driver to realize a high level of engagement initially and then to sustain it.”  

Better communications = better business.
Overcoming the challenges that come with being a disparate and diversified healthcare organization requires careful communication planning and execution. And that means investing in internal communications programs more comprehensively than ever.

Get started by:

Developing a baseline. As a healthcare professional, you know that the first step in addressing a potential problem is diagnosing the problem and the severity of its effects. You’re communicating with your diverse internal stakeholders now, but are you doing it effectively? Find out by executing an internal survey to see what employees know and where gaps exist, as well as to gauge preferences. 

Tailoring your communications. Take the time to put yourself in the shoes of each internal audience group that’s receiving your message, and craft a strategy to reach them consistently with information they’ll consume. Then, establish hierarchies to prioritize your messaging, break through the clutter and better engage with each of these teams. Find a few pointers here.  

Working with experienced professionals. Encouraging alignment within an organization isn’t a matter of taking educated guesses at what will work. Work with experts that have been there before, helping healthcare organizations and other businesses sort through challenges and tweak their communications programs for maximum effectiveness. We can help.

Your organization will never go far if you don’t have everyone rowing in the same direction. Internal communications are a problem for many organizations, but it’s especially problematic for healthcare providers who need to effectively reach team members with varied roles in different places on a daily basis. 

The sooner you start creating a strategy to reach internal stakeholders more effectively, the sooner your organization will start to see tangible results. But don’t try to do it alone. Find a partner who’s been through these initiatives before to ensure you’re making the most of your investment in better communications. A partner like us.

A lack of alignment won’t fix itself. Only proven strategy can do that. 

Let us help you in the same way we’ve helped numerous other organizations revamp their internal communications. Contact me to get started.

Related: Make the Most of Your Messaging