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Happy Employees Lead to Healthier Patients

Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement white paper examines link in hospital industry between employee satisfaction and patient care quality

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the nation's health care industry invests hundreds of billions of dollars each year in new technology and infrastructure to care for an increasingly aging population, its most important investment should be in its people, according to a new white paper published by the Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement.

The paper, "The Relationship between Employee Satisfaction and Hospital Patient Experiences," is based on extensive research commissioned by the FORUM, and conducted by The University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University at a major New York City hospital.

"In the health care industry, as in other service-related businesses, having engaged, empowered, loyal employees can lead to increased retention, lower costs, enhanced reputation, and a profitable business picture," said Forum President Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP, vice president, business development, O.C. Tanner Company. "And now, we are finding that having satisfied employees leads to higher quality of patient care and overall better patient experiences."

Some key findings from the study, found at, include:

  • Patients that have higher levels of satisfaction are most likely to recommend the hospital to others when they are treated by highly-satisfied employees. Word of mouth, more than any other source of marketing promotion, is a primary driver in patient care decisions.
  • As the popularity of electronic testing and monitoring expands, health care employees, more than ever, need to exercise "the personal touch" in caring for patients.
  • In addition to what health care workers do, emphasis needs to be placed on how employees feel about what they do. Patient experiences will not be good if employees are not happy.

Forum Managing Director Annalisa Jacobs stated that this new white paper is just one of the FORUM's activities related to its mission of researching and sharing information that helps businesses understand the role of people in their organizations. Another effort underway is planning for its second annual Think Tank, Who's in Charge Now? Thriving in an Employee Led Economy, on Wed., Oct. 14, 2009 in Chicago.

Reader comments on the new white paper and health care industry experiences with people-based performance strategies are welcomed. The white paper may be accessed at For those seeking the white paper's 31-page research report, contact Managing Director Annalisa Jacobs at (630) 369-7780 or via e-mail at:

The Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement ( is a research center within the Medill Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) graduate program at Northwestern University. A central objective of the Forum is to develop and disseminate knowledge about communications, motivation and management so that businesses can better design, implement and manage people-based initiatives for inside and outside an organization.

SOURCE The Forum for People Performance Management and Measurement
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