Online Program

Impact of a hospital employee suggestion program

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Jon M. Thompson, PhD, Health Services Administration Program, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Steve Nelson, MBA, Sentara RMH Medical Center, Harrisonburg, VA
Employee suggestion programs in hospitals have become popular as a key method to gain employee ideas to improve organizational performance. Such programs have also been advanced to enhance employee engagement and loyalty. A not-for-profit hospital developed the suggestion program in an effort to solicit ideas from staff, volunteers and physicians to improve organizational performance. The computer-based program enables the submission, recognition and implementation of ideas that will result in enhanced performance. This study analyzes the impact of the program on idea submission, idea implementation, idea implementation by type of suggestion, cost savings due to idea implementation, and reduced work hours due to idea implementation. The suggestion program has been consistently publicized throughout the hospital using a multi-method communication approach. Methods of promotion include development and dissemination of informational brochures to all units; poster displays in the cafeteria; presentations at medical staff meetings; and periodic updates and summaries of program successes in hospital newsletters. For this study, data was collected on a monthly basis for all operational and outcome measures during 2013. Key results show that 20% of employees submitted an idea for improvement; the ideas that were implemented impacted the areas of finance, quality/safety, people and service; and significant cost and time savings were realized. Specific results are presented as are implications for initiating sand maintaining such a program.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
Describe the purpose and structure of an employee suggestion program. Identify the impact of the program on organizational performance.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on evaluating this program. I have presented at prior APHA Annual Meetings and publish widely on human resources management, employee engagement and health care leadership topics.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.