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Hospital Saves Time with HeartCode® ACLS while Improving Staff Preparation


St. Mark’s Hospital, in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a 317-bed hospital that includes an acute care ER, rehabilitation unit, and a Level III Trauma Center. Continually recognized for its high-quality performance, being recognized as “One of 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals” in the nation by Thomas Reuters, it strives to provide care for patients in harmony with a long tradition of quality and compassion. In keeping with this mission, St. Mark’s Hospital is focused on improving the quality of care delivered to its patients and does so by adopting training programs like HeartCode.  

HealthStream Resuscitation Training SolutionsAn Opportunity to Improve Training Consistency

While education leaders at St. Mark’s Hospital were pleased with the content of the American Heart Association (AHA) ACLS courses offered via classroom instruction, they recognized that there were opportunities to improve. Instructors were inconsistent in their teaching and valuation practices. Additionally, the hospital’s equipment was old and did not have the ability to provide feedback or measure performance. As a result, staff mastery of the required skills was inconsistent. Staff members were not fully prepared, and they had poor communication skills on the floor during codes. 

Online and Simulation-based Training

St. Mark’s Hospital educators decided to combine HeartCode ACLS with simulation-based training.  Assigned through the HealthStream Learning Center (HLC), students complete HeartCode ACLS Part 1, leveraging MicroSim technology to create realistic patient scenarios, giving the learner the opportunity to master the AHA 2010 guidelines for CPR & ECC.  Then, students register for a megacode simulation with skills practice and testing.  During the megacode simulation, instructors use both pre-programmed and on-the-fly scenarios.  The hospital offers an annual mock code to test ACLS skills.  Additionally, impromptu monthly mock codes are held, to which nurses and other staff working on the hospital floor are required to respond.  

Overcoming Initial Staff Resistance to Change

As expected, there was initial resistance.  This was addressed by discussing the training program at department meetings. Also, teaching staff offered opportunities for nurses to practice on manikins on the floor and held contests and raffles to stimulate interest.  

By adopting HeartCode and megacode simulations, St. Mark’s has been able to:

  • Decrease learner classroom time for Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) by eight hours, plus two hours in the skills lab
  • Decrease ACLS instructor hours by eight hours
  • Improve unit performance and communication practices during code situations
  • Build a stronger learner-focused environment to ensure that learners are more prepared when they start ACLS
  • Continuously improve staff preparation for life threatening emergencies through regular ACLS practice and skill measurement 

“While we have had a lot of fun with the program, one of the most important things it did was help foster staff accountability, which is a major accomplishment. Now, staff members are better prepared.”

– Jennifer Teerlink, RN, MSN; Director of Education, St. Mark's Hospital 

Click here to read the full Customer Spotlight.

Interested in learning how Rochester General Health System standardized CPR training to improve patient care across the entire system?  Attend a webinar on Nov. 13 at 2pm CST.  Click here to register.

HealthStream Observes Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month


October is Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month.  According to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation, “Nearly 400,000 people will die in 2014 from sudden unexpected cardiac arrest, but most people have never even heard of the deadly condition.”  To help combat this statistic, HealthStream focuses on delivering high-quality CPR training.

Does Your Staff Deliver High-Quality CPR? 

HealthStream resuscitation training solutionsDuring cardiac emergencies, quality matters. It is our duty to arm our clinicians with education that truly prepares them for life-threatening emergencies and gives them the confidence and competence needed to recall this education when it counts. Traditionally, Basic Life Support (BLS), Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS), and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) training have been provided by instructors in the classroom setting, involving a significant outlay of resources in terms of time, cost and administration. In addition, there can be variability in learner experience depending on the instructor and evaluation methods, which can result in provider ambiguity in the clinical setting. 

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), victims often do not receive quality CPR because of provider ambiguity in which actions to prioritize. With in-hospital survival from cardiac arrest at 18%, the AHA determined that transformative change was needed and released a consensus statement outlining their recommendations in June 2013, “CPR Quality: Improving Cardiac Resuscitation Outcomes Both Inside and Outside the Hospital.” In their research they discovered that despite the focus on CPR science and guidelines, the majority of people are still not performing high-quality CPR. They went further to say that: “Poor Quality CPR should be considered a preventable harm.” 

So what is high-quality CPR?  

The American Heart Association identifies 5 key components:

  • Chest compression fraction (CCF) > 80%
  • Chest compression rate of 100 to 120/min
  • Chest compression depth of ≥ 2 inches in adults and at least one-third the diameter of the chest in infants and children
  • Full chest recoil: no residual leaning
  • Avoidance of excessive ventilation: rate ≤ 12 breaths per minute, minimal chest rise 

In their Consensus Statement, the AHA explains that “Monitoring the quality of CPR is arguably one of the most significant advances in resuscitation practice in the past 20 years. One that should be incorporated into every resuscitation and every professional rescuer program.” 

How do you achieve high-quality CPR?  

HeartCode® BLS, ACLS & PALS courses measure with precision that learners are following the 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC), so they can gain the psychomotor skills required to perform high-quality CPR under the pressure of a live code event.  HealthStream joined forces with Laerdal Medical to deliver the American Heart Association’s HeartCode courses in 2005 through HealthStream with the first completions in 2006.  Since then, there have been 1.5 million HeartCode completions through HealthStream. 

The final building block in a comprehensive BLS & ACLS training program is the Voice-Assisted Manikin (VAM), developed by Laerdal Medical.  Once you complete the online cognitive portion, you practice and test your compressions, ventilations and 1-Rescuer CPR on adult and infant voice-assisted manikins.  If the manikin detects that the actions differ from the American Heart Association 2010 guidelines, the VAM verbally corrects the trainee, something that studies show almost immediately improves basic CPR skills performance.

HeartCode leverages eSimulation technology in the cognitive portion combined with voice assisted manikins for objective and standardized learning. It standardizes exact compression depth that cannot be seen easily with the human eye.  HealthStream customers benefit from improved CPR competency and save time and money compared to traditional CPR class instructional methods.  

Learn more about HeartCode®.


Make Certain Performance Rewards for Healthcare Staff Are Adaptable


This blog post continues our series of patient experience best practices from BLG, a HealthStream Company. Every week we will share information from BLG that demonstrates their expansive understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions BLG has identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

One of the most recognizable influences in today’s workplace environment is diversity. A recognition program therefore should embrace creative options to reward all involved and to keep the initiative from going stale.

An initiative that focuses on rewarding only one segment of the employee population can be perceived as unfair. Do the means of recognition that you as a leader emphasize include everyone? And can you honestly say that everyone is eligible – from front line care givers to support staff to managers?

Patient Experience and Healthcare Employee Engagement COnsulting from BLGThe best programs are a mix of formal and informal recognition venues that offer opportunities to everyone. It is a good idea to use your staff to personalize and expand on how your area bestows recognition. Having just one or two methods of rewarding excellence is not enough. A diverse mix of reward and acknowledgement is necessary to be truly successful, and what a great way to engage employees by asking them to develop the variety!

In addition, by making your program adaptable, you are ensuring that it stays fresh and exciting to staff. When there are a variety of methods, you have the opportunity to feature one or two at a time, and change to different venues ever so often. Too, you can vary the reward to fit the time of year, to emphasize a holiday, honor a professional group, or call attention to a standard of performance. A big part of adaptability is innovation. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the rewards you offer or the type of recognition, and your program will never become stale.

Tying positive results to celebratory opportunities does not usually happen without a conscious effort; but it can become second nature  in your organization when you have a team that is constantly looking for ways to celebrate, encourage and recognize positive results.”

—Al Stubblefield, Founder, BLG, and Former President and CEO, Baptist Health Care

Reward and Recognition Training

BLG teaches key skills, approaches, techniques, and best practices to help leaders effectively reward and recognize high performers. Elements of this training include how to harvest reward and recognition opportunities, thank you notes as a key engagement tool, formal recognition programs that support a patient focused culture, and informal methods that create a custom, individualized approach to thanking team members in your employee family.

About BLG, a HealthStream Company 

BLG provides Patient-Centered Excellence Consulting, where the patient is at the center of
everything we do. Our tools, tactics, and best practices are evidence-based and outcomes driven.  We provide custom, individualized coaching that produces measurable, sustainable increases in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, quality outcomes, and profitability.

Learn more about BLG products and services.


Addressing Healthcare Compliance: A Busy Week in “COI World”


By Bill Sacks, Vice President, HCCS, a HealthStream Company

describe the imageOpen Payments Database is Now Published

The last few weeks have been eventful ones for those who monitor the Conflicts of Interest “ecosystem.” On September 30, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the long awaited “Open Payments” database, putting more than four million items online in an almost incomprehensible jumble of tables that had to be cross referenced and searched using tools that, to be generous, were not the most user friendly or responsive.

The data included remuneration and other exchanges of value from August to December, 2013 from pharmaceutical and medical device companies to physicians, medical schools and other providers. Those with the wherewithal to download and analyze the 1.5+ gigabytes of data posted in seven distinct database files began to provide some analysis within a few days.

The database included 4.4 million payments totaling $3.5 billion. More than half a million doctors and about 1,360 teaching hospitals received at least one payment. In the initial online publication, up to 40 percent of the data had identifying information redacted, due to questions
about its accuracy. (That data will supposedly be cleaned up and reported next year.) In a fact sheet reported online, officials reported that data on an additional $1.1 billion in payments had been withheld altogether, either because data was disputed, or because of “delays in publication” of that data.

Healthcare Compliance and Conflict of Interest Training from HCCSThat said, it was still possible to glean some interesting information from the data. Medical doctors and teaching hospitals received 69% and 25% respectively of the payments reported. The remaining six percent was shared by dentists, osteopaths, optometrists, podiatrists and chiropractors.

Over the last year there was a lot of discussion between CMS and providers about how to report payments from industry for research. Many of these concerns were not resolved in time for publication, and more than 90% of those payments had identifying information redacted.

Information was also redacted on 56% of arrangements that involved physician ownership, including partnerships, equity participation, stock options etc. This may reflect confusion over reporting requirements and/or problems identifying individuals with similar names. CMS has indicated that this data will be reported accurately by next year.

Royalty and license payments paid to physician and hospital inventors accounted for 31% of the $976 million of “General Payments.” Twenty-one percent (21%) of these payments were for promotional talks, which the government calls “services other than consulting”. Meals accounted for 3.5 million of the 4.4 million payments reported, but accounted for less than 10%
of the expended dollars. In addition, doctors were paid for more than 200,000 trips by companies in the five months reported.

A New Conflict of Interest Scorecard

Also released in the same week as the ”Open Payments” data was the annual American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Conflict of Interest Scorecard, which has been expanded from grading only medical schools to include a cross section of over 200 teaching hospitals and medical schools on their conflict of interest policies and practices. The AMSA scorecard and other factors have prompted many organizations to improve their COI policies over the years, and this year’s version reports significant improvement, with 35 organizations receiving an “A”
grade, and 111 receiving a “B”. Five years ago, only 9 organizations received an “A” grade, and 36 a “B”.

Still, the AMSA reported there was much room for improvement. Only 44% of surveyed institutions had model policies related to ghostwriting and honorary authorship. Forty-three percent (43%) had model policies related to acceptance of gifts, 42% had model policies related to consulting arrangements, and only 40% completely prohibited industry paid meals
of any nature or value.

New Findings

On the research front, a study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine that showed that investigators examining the efficacy of prophylactic treatments for influenza (such as Tamiflu or other neuraminidase inhibitors) were far more likely to have positive results if they had financial interests in the companies producing the drugs. Of eight (8) studies performed by investigators with financial conflicts, seven (7) had positive results. On the other hand, of 29 studies performed by investigators with no financial conflict of interest, only five (5) were favorable. The study concluded that “Reviewers with financial conflicts of interest may be more likely to present evidence about neuraminidase inhibitors in a favorable manner and recommend the use of these drugs than reviewers without financial conflicts of interest.”


So there you have it:

  1. Evidence of the problem in the published research, which has demonstrated once again that financial conflicts of interest can have deleterious effects on the delivery of the highest quality evidence-based medical treatment
  2. Initial (if troubled) efforts to mitigate the problem in the long awaited actions by the federal
    government to increase transparency in the financial arrangements between medicine and industry
  3. Indications of improvement over time, as indicated in the AMSA Scorecard, which reports slow
    but steady improvement in the efforts to identify and manage the inherent conflicts of interest that are likely to continue for a long time to come.

Not a bad few weeks.

The HCCS COI-SMART system provides comprehensive tools for tracking and managing Conflict of Interest (COI) disclosures. COI-SMART provides for the development of multi-level branching questionnaires, automated assignment of reviewers, the development of COI management plans, and data mining tools for auditing, tracking and reporting on potential conflicts of interest.

Learn more.



Senior Care and Long-Term Care Need a Culturally Competent Workforce


We are proud to feature this partner Orange Paper, written by Linda Hollinger-Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, Vice President Mather, LifeWays Institute on Aging.

Cultural competency is at the core of high quality, resident-centered services and care in senior living and long-term care settings, directly impacting how they are delivered and received by residents. According to the Institute of Medicine’s report (2002), Unequal Treatment Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Healthcare, a consistent body of research indicates a lack of culturally competent care directly contributes to poor patient outcomes, reduced patient compliance, and increased health disparities, regardless of the quality of services and systems available. In addition to improving care quality and resident satisfaction, delivering culturally competent care increases job satisfaction and contributes to staff retention.

Mather Lifeways - Develop a Culturally Competent Workforce for Senior CareThis paper includes:

  • Health disparities and health equity
  • What is culturally competent care
  • Why do we need a culturally competent health care workforce?
  • Supporting the need for cultural competency development for the senior living/long-term care workforce
  • Assessing the community’s cultural competency
  • National standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services
  • The nurse’s role in delivering culturally competent care in senior living and long-term care

Complete the form below to download the white paper.

Ebola Preparedness Is TOP of Mind for Everyone in Healthcare


By Robin Rose, Vice President, Strategic Initatives, HealthStream

The World Health Organization is projecting that the total number of people infected by Ebola will top 20,000 in November; the CDC expects as many as 1.4 million cumulative worldwide infections by January 2015.  While early presumptions were that Ebola would not be an issue for Americans, the recent incidents at Texas Health Presbyterian show we were mistaken, and
hospitals are scrambling to make sure they are prepared.  Pennsylvanian Surgeon General Carrie DeLeone is optimistic, recently stating in The Patriot News that, “…most, if not all hospitals, within the state have the equipment necessary to isolate someone with the illness and adequately protect healthcare workers and the public” [Sullivan, 2014].  Betsy McCaughey, PhD, former Lt. Governor of New York, takes the opposite view, worrying that hospitals that
currently cause more than 75,000 deaths a year due to hospital-acquired infections are not likely to follow necessary precautions [Sullivan, 2014]. 

Ebola Preparedness Training

Hospitals and Ebola

Hospitals are learning a lot based on the recent treatment of Ebola patients at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta and Texas Health Presbyterian in Sherman, TX.  Their experiences have raised awareness that hospitals may not be as prepared as we thought and that more help is needed in areas such as communicating via electronic medical records systems, knowing what types of protective gear are needed, knowing how to don and remove protective gear, and handling  contaminated waste removal.  For example, the two initial Ebola patients treated at Emory generated up to 40 bags of medical waste a day, and initially, the hospital’s waste management company refused to handle it [Sullivan, 2014]. 

What Nurses Think About Ebola

A recent survey by National Nurses United of 400 nurses in more than 200 hospitals in 25 states found that some 60% of nurses said their hospital was unprepared to handle Ebola patients [Steenhuysen, 2014]. Similarly, emergency medicine physicians recently gave America a C- for emergency preparedness [Rossenau, 2014].  Many worry that hospitals do not yet have in place comprehensive training programs that cover the full range of staff who are potentially involved in the treatment of an Ebola patient—everyone from ED staff, ICU staff, radiology, transport, waste management, etc. 

The Importance of Training for Preventing Ebola Transmission

We know that the majority of infections in healthcare workers in Western Africa have come when workers were donning or removing their hazmat suits.  Has your hospital decided what type of protective gear is needed, who needs it, and how it should be removed and disposed of?  This is just one of many issues hospital executives will grapple with over the next several months as U.S. hospitals move quickly to prepare themselves for any future Ebola patients.

Find Ebola prevention resources, including training information.

The Role of Continuing Education (CE) in Improving Patient Outcomes


By Trisha Coady RN BSN MNc, Director of CE Center, HealthStream

Costs of Preventable Errors

In the landmark report published in 1999 from the Institute of Medicine (IOM), To Err is Human: Building a Safer Healthcare System, it was noted that:

  • Up to 98,000 patients die each year in US due toHealthStream CECenter medical errors that could have otherwise been prevented.
  • Total costs were estimated at between $17 billion and $29 billion per year in hospitals nationwide.
  • Errors area also costly in terms of lack of trust with diminished satisfaction by both patients and health professionals.

More recently in September 2013, the Journal of Patient Safety published an article estimating that over 400,000 patients die each year in the US due to preventable medical errors.

A Transforming System

The 2010 Affordable Care Act has initiated broad and transformational change to our healthcare system, with reimbursements shifting from fee-for-service care to value-based care.

In response to the changes upon us, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the
Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched a two-year initiative to assess and provide thought leadership on transforming the nursing profession. The Future of Nursing: Leading Change,
Advancing Health

Transforming the health care system to provide safe, quality, patient-centered, accessible, and affordable care will require a comprehensive rethinking of the roles of many health care
professionals, nurses chief among them. To realize this vision, nursing education must be fundamentally improved both before and after nurses receive their licenses.

Recommendations - The Future of Nursing

The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health delivered 8 key recommendations:

  1. Remove scope-of-practice barriers
  2. Expand opportunities for nurses to lead and diffuse collaborative improvement efforts
  3. Implement nurse residency programs
  4. Increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree to 80 percent by 2020
  5. Double the number of nurses with a doctorate by 2020
  6. Ensure that nurses engage in lifelong learning
  7. Prepare and enable nurses to lead change to advance health
  8. Build an infrastructure for the collection and analysis of interprofessional health care workforce data

As a clinical leader within your organization, how do you champion change? How do we support
the need to ensure optimal patient outcomes, while minimizing overall costs across all departments?

Fostering a culture of lifelong learning and enabling staff to lead change, as well as engage in their own path to knowledge acquisition is a critical step towards the future of Nursing.

Learn more about CECenter.


1. James, John T. Journal of Patient Safety: A New, Evidence-based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care. September 2013. Volume 9; Issue 3. p. 122–128.

2. Institute of Medicine (IOM). To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington: National Academy Press; 1999.

3. Institute of Medicine (IOM). The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.
Washington: National Academies Press; 2011.



Hospital Saved Time and Money with Automated Competency Management


This blog post details a customer success with the HealthStream Competency Center. It was originally featured in the inaugural issue of HealthStream's Healthcare Workforce Advisor, our quarterly magazine designed to bring you thought leadership and best practices for developing the healthcare workforce.

HealthStream Healthcare Workforce AdvisorHOSPITAL BACKGROUND

Established in 1950, Feather River Hospital, part of the Adventist Health Network, is a 100-bed facility, staffed by over 160 physicians and 1,250 employees, serving Paradise, California, and neighboring communities. The Volunteer Services program at Feather River is essential to hospital operations. Volunteers contribute at least 100 hours each per year, working in roles based on their interests and skills. In 2013, 449 volunteers provided 68,171 hours of service, some in fundgenerating capacities. As a result, the Volunteer Services program has been able over time to make monetary contributions to the hospital. Past bequests have benefited patients and employees by funding multiple initiatives, including completion of a new emergency room.


Managing the competencies of staff and volunteers had become too cumbersome to be effective. The hospital’s manual process generated approximately 24,000 pieces of paper per year and incurred additional costs for filing and copying. The hospital’s ability to provide required information to accreditation agencies and the Adventist Health corporate organization used many employee resources and was also inefficient. Feather River Hospital needed to move from a manual, paper-based process to a more efficient, electronic competency management solution for creating, managing, assessing, tracking, and reporting.


Feather River Hospital selected the HealthStream Competency Center because it offered the best solution for meeting their specific requirements of increased employee and volunteer education, training, and competency. The education and training departments realized the value and need for implementing HealthStream’s automated Competency Center but had a major problem—how to pay for the solution. The education and training department of Feather River Hospital approached Ms. Rebecca Williams, Director of Volunteer and Retail Services, about the idea of obtaining the funds from Volunteer Services. Ms. Williams, in collaboration with Carrie Lambert, Manager of Education and Training, developed a presentation to the Board of Volunteers which outlined the benefits and cost of the HealthStream Competency Center. The request then had be voted on by all of those attending the board meeting, which included over 200 volunteers, who voted unanimously to fund the project. Feather River Hospital began implementation of the HealthStream Competency Center in 2014.


  • Saved over 1,000 directors’ hours per year. 
  • Reduced paper, filing, and copying expenses, saving thousands of dollars.
  • Reduced corporate compliance audit from two weeks to three hours.

Learn more about the HealthStream Competency Center.

Subscribe to Healthcare Workforce Advisor. 

Complete the form below to download this issue of Healthcare Workforce Advisor.

Using HeartCode®, Hospital Improves ROSC Rate by 16% and Saves $400K


This blog post details one of many successes we have identified for customers using our solutions. Learn about more customer successes here.

By adopting the American Association HeartCode® program, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas:

  • Increased staff confidence and competence in delivering
    high-quality CPR - ultimately resulting in an improvement in the rate of return
    in spontaneous circulation (ROSC) by 16% over four years
  • Reduced time staff spent in classroom training by nearly 50%
  • Saved an average of $75,000 per year and more than $400,000 in the
    four years of using HeartCode 

Watch a Video about this Customer Success.

HeartCode Resuscitation Training from HealthStreamFor more than sixty years, Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas has been dedicated to providing quality health services in a Christian environment.  Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas is a
not-for-profit, community-owned healthcare facility with 508 beds and over 700 licensed nurses. It has been a Magnet® designated facility since 2007and it is the only Chest Pain Certified facility in Southeast Texas.

Baptist started using HealthStream in 2005 and adopted HeartCode in 2008. Even though the hospital was content with the classroom method of CPR training, hospital leadership saw the opportunity to improve CPR training with evidence based practice by adopting Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS).

After adopting HeartCode, Baptist was able to overcome the challenges of adopting a new way of conducting CPR training and successfully implement the program across their facility.  They also improved the quality of CPR and resulted in significant cost savings.

Read the full success story.

Fill out the information at this link to learn more about HeartCode. 

Performance Recognition for Healthcare Staff Must Be Meaningful


This blog post continues our series of patient experience Best Practices from BLG, a HealthStream Company. Every week we will share information from BLG that demonstrates their expansive understanding of the challenges faced by healthcare organizations and the solutions BLG has identified for improving the patient experience and patient and business outcomes.

Meaningful recognition is tied intrinsically to the organization’s mission, vision and values. When employees see that their actions have impacted one of these driving principles, they are motivated to repeat the behavior again and again. But it is also important to research how people wish to be rewarded, what is meaningful to them.

Why Recognize Excellent Performance?

Recognizing an employee for work that advances the organization’s mission, vision or values promotes a culture of high performance. So does honoring employees who have demonstrated the characteristics and behaviors that the organization holds in high regard. If leaders consistently reward employees by tying the recognition to one of the organization’s driving
principles – a process known as “connecting the dots” - think of the difference it would make! People would be encouraged and motivated to repeat that positive behavior again and again, knowing its impact.

describe the imageMaking Rewards and Recognition Meaningful

Yet, the praise still has to be meaningful to them as individuals, which ties back to their personality or qualities. Reward and recognition, after all, is about focusing on the good things that a person does, instead of concentrating only on organizational areas of improvement.

An Example of Meaningful Recognition

For example, praising an employee for an innovation that saved the organization some money is the thing to do. But think how much more meaningful it would be if the recognition went something like this: “John’s ability to see the big picture made him question why so much money is being spent on that item. His clever thinking resulted in a new way of doing things that is a lot more cost effective. He’s a true innovator!” You are not only pointing out how John helped the organization, but how his particular talents were key to the process. It has much more significance.

Consider that it is sometimes the “behind the scenes” employees who make the most difference to our customers. It could be something so simple as how food is placed on a tray, turning out an overhead light that is bothersome, or cleaning up a mess with a positive attitude.

Connect Recognition to Service Excellence and Outcomes

Recognize the individuals who perform those tasks, but do it in a way that connects their
caring actions to service excellence. This reinforces the behaviors that will in turn positively impact patient satisfaction surveys.

It may take some extra time for a leader to think about and create meaningful personalized feedback and praise for a job well done, connecting the behavior to the organization as well. But it will pay off in the long run. Recognition that values people for who they are has the power to energize; it can change the corporate culture and result in even more motivated employees. What a return on the leader’s investment of time!  

“People want to feel what they do makes a difference.”

—Frances Hesselbein, President, The Drucker Foundation

Reward and Recognition Training

BLG teaches key skills, approaches, techniques, and best practices to help leaders effectively reward and recognize high performers. Elements of this training include how to harvest reward and recognition opportunities, thank you notes as a key engagement tool, formal recognition programs that support a patient focused culture, and informal methods that create a custom, individualized approach to thanking team members in your employee family.

About BLG, a HealthStream Company 

BLG provides Patient-Centered Excellence Consulting, where the patient is at the center of
everything we do. Our tools, tactics, and best practices are evidence-based and outcomes driven.  We provide custom, individualized coaching that produces measurable, sustainable increases in patient satisfaction, employee engagement, quality outcomes, and profitability.

Learn more about BLG products and services.


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