Enhancing Staff Loyalty through Innovation in Healthcare

Introduction

Innovation is one concept that is used to offset the economic impediments: in the health industry, it is used in several ways to bring out the loyalty in the staff (Weng et al., 2013). Loyalty is achieved in several ways among them is when the staff feel appreciated in their job. The workers who form the subject of the study today are the doctors, nurses and administrators of a hospital establishment. Innovations range from the structural operation of the administration, to disbursement of funds, to relationship between the colleagues and the service delivery to the patients among others. The end result of the pursuit for the many innovations include increased life expectancy, improved quality of life for the patient, quick and proper diagnosis and generally better healthcare system whose success alone increases the morale of the staff thereby playing a key role in influencing where their loyalty lies. The satisfaction of the improved quality of healthcare will be the underlying factor that enhances loyalty (Avgar et al., 2011).

Finding

The innovation as designed and implemented varied from one staff to another and were thereby addressed separately.

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Physician

Understand what employee loyalty stipulates

The hospital management should be comfortably familiar with what it takes to be loyal because only in understanding can one conclusively comprehend the cost that comes with it. In understanding, the hospital can innovatively change the regard it gives to the staff from a more conventional approach which include better working conditions and proper compensation to a more touching ways such as emotional and psychological coaching. Understanding this both inculcates the spirit of hard work and instills in the staff loyalty (Way et al., 2011).

Integration of health information system

This factor seeks to enhance the effectiveness of the channels of communication and other associated protocol. As currently constructed, communication from different databases belonging to different hospitals cannot communicate due to the hinderances put in place by different encryption and languages. Physicians find it hard to consult on variations in medical reports and thus find no compelling reason to seek help elsewhere. This innovation could help physicians find no reason to shift camps (Leidner et al., 2010).

Availing of subspecialists

Physicians are always helped by specialists who they refer patients to handle more specific complications thereby enhancing specialized care. Introduction of subspecialists would be beneficial because some of the specialized fields have become wide necessitating delving into the subdivisions of the fields to gain better insight. One such field include the field of oncology.

Physicians are tasked with the job of diagnosis of ailments and with the assistance of the nurses offer quality health care. It is therefore important that the guidelines within which they operate are correct and in tandem with their working spirit. They must therefore be a part of the teams that make policies for the hospital. Otherwise, the administrators will make conclusions that are out of touch and disconnected (Avgar et al., 2011).

The management should change the way they look at their physicians from the sense that they are their workers to a more revolutionary approach of taking them as their ‘customers’. Physicians are few in operation because the cost and time resources dedicated towards their training is expensive (Weng et al., 2013). This is a more theoretical approach that substitutes the title of doctor with that of customer. They will be accorded the same courtesy given to the customers and this alone makes the staff appreciated. The loyalty is thereby easily won.

The Administrators

The administrators are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the management roles of the hospital are adhered to. Synching of hospital systems ensures enhanced departmental communication and efficiency at work. Administrators such as accountants are driven by economy and such kinds of effectiveness stemming from effective policies spurs the spirit of loyalty due to good working relationships. Such system synchronizations could be tedious and expensive but in the end are worth it (Saumi, 2006).

When considering the effects of innovation as emerging trends in the healthcare industry, decentralization of operation helps with quick service delivery, reduced cost of operation, more neat and organized working stations and filing systems among other organization. Referral hospitals tend to be national hospitals and they handle a large traffic of patients that impede effective health delivery by clogging certain shared departments. This causes administrative nightmare and may prompt an administrator to quit (Saumi, 2006).

Administrators are exposed to the management routine which is constant and therefore boring in the sense that it is repetitive. Administrative innovations help change the boring system which can thereby make the staff loyal. The administrative functions are characterized by long and tedious bureaucracies which are a nightmare for the staff. One may opt to relocate to another hospital which has fewer administrative protocols. Therefore, routine structural changes are important (Djellal & Gallouj, 2007).

The revolution of the management-administration staff relationship has been significant and has helped the administrators by giving them room for maneuvers in their operation to explore methods of improvement. In the early seventies, the relationship used to be delegation based. Later, they improved to empowerment-based relationship in the nineties (Meesala & Paul, 2018). Now though, the control has improved to engagement. In some sectors, administrators can dictate or better yet chose appropriate working hours, the appropriate tools of choice for operation and even be able to chose the type of staff they work with. They can thereby produce quality work. Such kind of engagement can only stir the spirit of loyalty further.

Uncooperative staff in the healthcare taskforce being removed from their postings makes the remaining administrators note that productivity alone is not enough as a requirement for the job. One has to be adequately disciplined. This approach disregards the fact that the administration bosses are pragmatic when dealing with all the staff (O’Sullivan & Dooley, 2008). Dismissal from the job shows that all the workers are regarded as same and equal. No one is tempted to act with contempt against other staff because of the stipulated repercussions. This administrational innovation is a principle that can bring harmony.

Nurses

This factor is important in the care and management of pressure sores. Bedsores management has been regarded for long as a lesser aspect of patient care among the nurses. The disrespect has spilled over from just the care to the professional caregivers and this is an issue. The hospital should come up with a way of reassuring the nurses that all types of healthcare are geared towards a better healthcare and as such all types of care is important. The spite among those in the nursing community must be taught once again that trust and respect are fundamentals of successful relationship between themselves and the profession (Reynolds & Greene, 2012).

Some nurses have reported several cases of being mistreated by patients who may be mentally handicapped and their irate relatives. This has prompted them to change venues of work. Taking measures of technological improvement of security apparatus and other appropriate structural improvements could help curb this problem. Structural improvements may hinder unnecessary movements of patients thereby reducing risk of attack. The innovations may also include better methods of delivering health news to the patients that may not cause them to act carelessly. The improvements could make a nurse reconsider his or her loyalty (Way et al., 2011).

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Employing the services of nurses as the primary testers of technology to be introduced to a given hospital makes them feel appreciated besides making the facility gat real value for its money. There is one observation that no other staff understands best the working of a given health establishment as the nurses. They know most operational disadvantages and using them through all the phases of design, implementation and development of a given product required by the hospital is advantageous since it will be the best instance of the solution prototype needed (Weng et al., 2013).

The nurses are an integral aspect of the operations carried out in the hospital. They understand their work well and including them in the process of making decisions is a step forward as the innovation helps the hospital from disconnections and incoherence in administration. Getting their input in the important matters helps tailor-make the administration to their needs and workings. The decision-making organ should in fact include representatives from all departments to ensure cohesion. Coherence of operation is convenient for the nurses and this enhances loyalty knowing that they are listened to and appreciated (Labitzke et al., 2014).

Nurses who are located in outposts which have few resources when empowered to dip into their personal resources to fund hospital projects with the promise of compensation and reimbursement are far more likely to be productive and reliable. Being able to spend one’s own resources in such events shows reliability and trust (Avgar et al., 2011). To inculcate such spirit, the hospital must have the trust and loyalty of their nursing personnel. Such innovations ensure more lives are saved and the hospital and the nurses are closer more than ever.

Conclusion

The hospital has a lot to do to ensure that the physicians, the nurses and the administration staff are loyal (Suomi, 2006). They range from enhancement of communication among the doctors to synchronization of systems among the administrators to inclusion of the nursing staff in the corridors of decision-making procedures among others as discussed above. Despite all these, the fundamental requirement for the innovation techniques discussed above to cause loyalty lies with the staff themselves. This is informed by their appreciation for the new technology delivery. Also, appreciation for their work by the management could play an important role.

References

O'Sullivan, D., & Dooley, L. (2008). Applying innovation. Sage publications.

Way, K. A., Ottenbacher, M. C., & Harrington, R. J. (2011). Is crowdsourcing useful for enhancing innovation and learning outcomes in culinary and hospitality education?. Journal of culinary science & technology, 9(4), 261-281.

Reynolds, T., & Greene, T. (2012). U.S. Patent No. 8,301,482. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Meesala, A., & Paul, J. (2018). Service quality, consumer satisfaction and loyalty in hospitals: Thinking for the future. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 40, 261-269.

Djellal, F., & Gallouj, F. (2007). Innovation in hospitals: a survey of the literature. The European Journal of Health Economics, 8(3), 181-193.

Leidner, D. E., Preston, D., & Chen, D. (2010). An examination of the antecedents and consequences of organizational IT innovation in hospitals. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 19(3), 154-170.

Weng, R. H., Huang, C. Y., & Lin, T. E. (2013). Exploring the cross-level impact of market orientation on nursing innovation in hospitals. Health care management review, 38(2), 125-136.

Avgar, A. C., Givan, R. K., & Liu, M. (2011). Patient-centered but employee delivered: Patient care innovation, turnover intentions, and organizational outcomes in hospitals. ILR Review, 64(3), 423-440.

Labitzke, G., Svoboda, S., & Schultz, C. (2014). The role of dedicated innovation functions for innovation process control and performance–An empirical study among hospitals. Creativity and Innovation Management, 23(3), 235-251.

Suomi, R. (2006). Introducing electronic patient records to hospitals: Innovation adoption paths. In E- health systems diffusion and use: The innovation, the user and the use IT model (pp. 128-146). IGI Global.

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