Turn Everyday Tasks into
By Mark Lerner
There is a saying common in healthcare today that goes something like this:
“Happy employees equal happy patients.” With the new emphasis on raising HCAHPS survey scores, hospitals are
searching for new ways to have highly
engaged employees. One method I have
been using to obtain this goal is to take
advantage of routine tasks to strengthen
my relationship with staff.
We all conduct regularly scheduled
staff meetings, but large group gatherings
are sometimes not the best way to foster
two-way communication. Another method I have used with success is to have a
less formal weekly meeting in my office.
The rules of this meeting are as follows:
1. Employees are free to discuss any subject they want that impacts the operation of the department.
2. If an employee is going to raise an
issue then he or she should come with
a proposed solution.
3. The meeting is strictly 30 minutes in
4. Attendance is voluntary.
5. Anything discussed at this session can
be shared with other employees.
Rapid small meetings held in this way
tend to result in a series of action items.
To increase attendance, it is crucial that
the manager follow up on identified
problems or concerns.
Another way that I try to increase
employee engagement is through
employee and patient rounding. Many
people are already familiar with this Studer
Group methodology for meeting with
various constituencies. However, I use
patient rounding in a slightly different
Mark Lerner is the director of diagnostic imaging at
the George Washington University Hospital. He can
be reached at Mark.Lerner@gwu-hospital.com.