Tailor Healthcare Competency Evaluations to Employee and Position
By Kimberly S. Clark, RN, BSN, MBA; Senior Director, Product Management; HealthStream
A Perfect Match for Talent Management in Healthcare: Annual Evaluations Using Dynamic Assessments
The care required to maintain the health of an individual often varies from the care required for anyone else and can even change across time for the same individual, fluctuating with the severity of medical conditions and the environment in which the individual lives. Similarly, competency evaluation is a fluid, dynamic process that should adjust to the changing needs of the person being assessed, as patient care needs evolve, work environment priorities change, and advances occur in clinical practice standards. Competency evaluations also need to reflect the strategic initiatives of the organization and the ever-changing healthcare environment.
Stop Assessing the Same Competencies Over and Over...
Managing an organization’s competency evaluations can be time-consuming and difficult. Many organizations waste time, money, and other resources when constantly addressing the same competencies over and over again. Organizations using the same list of competencies year after year may discover their competency assessment process has become both frustrating and meaningless. Some competencies from last year are likely to be mastered, and others may no longer be necessary for the needs of today. In addition, predicting all the competency needs at the beginning of an evaluation year is almost impossible due to the rapidly changing environment over the course of the year.
As patient care needs, the working environment, and clinical practice standards change, new competencies need to be identified and added to the assessment process. Systems for talent management in healthcare that require all assessment criteria to be identified at one time force the identification of competencies at the beginning of the process and do not allow organizations to differentiate between the needs of specific employees and groups within the organization (such as specific departments or clinical practice areas).
Use a Dynamic Solution for Competency Assessment that Adapts to Changing Needs
Designed specifically for talent management in healthcare, the HealthStream Competency Center (HCC) supports dynamic assessments of employees in a healthcare setting. Our assessments are flexible enough to allow for the addition of competency statements at any point during the evaluation period. Dynamic assessments can provide the employee, manager, alternate rater, and/or peers the ability to determine which competencies are important at any given time. Competency statements can then be added to the assessment of an individual or groups of employees based on their specific needs and the needs of the organization at that point in time.
To benefit most from our dynamic assessment capabilities, start by assessing your most pressing patient care needs, the changing nature of your environment, and your organization’s strategic initiatives. Use this information to evaluate potential competency statements in the HealthStream Competency Library for inclusion in your competency assessments. Then encourage organizational leaders to identify a standardized competency selection process to use throughout the year. This process should encourage the selection of competencies to address organizational, department, and unit-specific needs in addition to evaluating individual employees’ educational opportunities. As competency needs are identified throughout the year, organizational leaders can choose from a pre-defined competency statement list created from the HealthStream Competency Library. Finally, use competency assessment results and performance improvement data to measure the effectiveness of the competency assessment process in driving progress towards organizational initiatives.
Individualized Assessments Create a Better Evaluation Experience
Our customers are excited to use this dynamic functionality for competency evaluations. Many customers are interested in using it for their ongoing competency assessments, which require the flexibility to add, remove, or change competencies. Another example of using dynamic assessments is for the new-hire competency evaluation process. You can create an assessment, including standard organizational competencies, that all employees must master. A separate area of the assessment for preceptors and nursing education managers to control can contain additional competencies based on the specific needs of a new employee. As the orientation process begins and the preceptor gains more understanding about the new-hire, he or she can add competencies specific to the new employee’s role in the organization, his/her assigned department, his/her level of experience, the type of patients who will receive care from the new employee, etc. This process creates a standardized and customized evaluation that meets the needs of the organization and the individual employee.
Support Strategic Goals with Your Evaluation Process
Assessing employee competencies is a critical part of assessing progress towards achieving an organization’s strategic goals and a key function of talenet management in healthcare. The HealthStream Competency Center supports this process in healthcare organizations. Using the HealthStream Competency Library and the dynamic assessments feature within the HealthStream Competency Center, organizations are able to better assess, monitor, and report on employee competencies by engaging those critical to the dynamic process itself.
Learn More About the HealthStream Competency Center.