Employee engagement linked to patient satisfaction at VA medical centers

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been recognized for having increasingly engaged employees in new research released March 25.

The Partnership for Public Service and the Boston Consulting Group looked at nearly 150 VA medical centers, along with three years’ data from the “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” engagement scores and Veterans Health Administration’s Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning scorecards. The key conclusion: centers with more robust employee engagement had higher patient satisfaction, better call center performance and lower turnover among registered nurses.

“These findings are representative of our commitment to creating positive work environments for employees, which I believe develops a more holistic experience for our Veterans,” VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said in a statement. “I am extremely pleased with our medical center leadership teams as they are integral to our continued mission of improving and transforming VA health care.”

As the “Best Places to Work” employee engagement score goes up, patient satisfaction with the medical center increases as well, the analysis found. And as employee engagement increases in call centers, “the time it takes to answer the phone decreases, and the percentage of calls that go unanswered declines,” according to the report.

Finally, the rate of turnover among registered nurses was found to dip as employee engagement at VA medical centers rose, meaning employee engagement helps retain key talent, the Partnership for Public Service and the Boston Consulting Group said.

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