BMJ: At top hospitals, workers are more satisfied

Study: Staff satisfaction correlates with lower mortality rates

Topics: Employee Engagement, Workforce, Employee Satisfaction

February 22, 2013

A new study in BMJ Quality and Safety finds that better performing hospitals also are the ones most likely to have satisfied clinical and non-clinical staff, particularly among nurses.

  • What's the best way to assess employee satisfaction at your hospital? Our resources and templates for satisfaction surveys.

For the study, researchers at Britain's Imperial School of Public Health analyzed satisfaction data compiled by the National Health Service's (NHS) 2009 staff survey, which included more than 60,000 doctors, nurses, administrators, and support staff at 147 acute general NHS hospitals. In particular, the researchers examined responses to three questions:

  • Whether staff would recommend their institution to a friend or colleague;
  • Whether staff were happy with the standard of care they provided; and
  • Whether staff felt that care was a priority at their institution.

Researchers then compared answers on the survey to Britain's Hospital Standardized Mortality Ratios, a measure that assesses hospital performance by comparing a hospital's expected and actual mortality rates.

The study found that low mortality rates were correlated with physician satisfaction, non-clinical staff satisfaction, and—most directly—to nurse satisfaction.

The researchers suggest that the relationship between satisfaction and mortality rates is a "cycle of improvement. They also note that staff's willingness to recommend their institution might be the best indication of hospitals' quality of care (Paddock, Medical News Today, 2/21).

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