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Unlocking the Value of Integrated Healthcare Surveys

Unlocking the Value of Integrated Healthcare Surveys

In today's rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, staffing pressures and workplace challenges have made it increasingly crucial for organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of the employee experience.

Perceptyx’s 2023 healthcare research highlighted the importance of addressing these concerns, as organizations must not only navigate their core mission but also adhere to various regulatory and accreditation requirements, such as Leapfrog and Magnet. Consequently, healthcare organizations must gather a diverse range of employee perceptions to effectively assess employee engagement, physician experience, safety culture, and nursing satisfaction, among other factors. 

Integrating point-in-time listening events is a powerful strategy to streamline employee participation, enabling organizations to hear more voices and gather valuable insights. This approach not only makes it easier for employees to participate but also helps healthcare organizations identify clearer, more actionable steps to improve employee experience and overall organizational outcome These integrated surveys combine multiple discrete point-in-time surveys, administered simultaneously as a single listening event, to provide a holistic understanding of employee perspectives on various aspects of their work environment. 

For example, instead of administering four separate surveys at different times, an organization instead integrates employee experience, physician experience, nursing satisfaction, and safety culture surveys into one streamlined experience, branching each individual survey to only those staff members in which those perceptions are desired.

In this article, we'll explore the benefits of integrated healthcare surveys, along with the considerations to keep in mind when implementing them in your organization.

Why Integrate Healthcare Surveys into One Listening Event?

Employee surveys provide significant benefits to organizations seeking insights to improve their employee experiences and achieve specific accreditations. However, healthcare organizations must be conscious of the time commitment required from employees. By bundling these unique surveys together into one seamless experience, organizations can gain richer insights into employee sentiments while minimizing disruption to critical business operations. 

Benefits of integrating multiple discrete, point-in-time surveys into a single listening event include:  

Greater listening event participation: Listening to more voices is critical to ensure diverse perspectives are understood, to help more employees feel heard, and to ensure insights and actions are representative of the entire population. Integrated surveys produce much higher participation than stand-alone pulse surveys within healthcare organizations with average participation exceeding 70% for integrated healthcare surveys compared to only 56% participation when administered separately. This is especially evident with safety culture surveys, with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reporting a 48% average participation nationally for hospital safety culture surveys alone, far below the average participation achieved when integrating multiple, topical surveys into one listening event.

Several factors can contribute to this increased participation including the amount and type of internal communication about the listening event, the amount of encouragement from leaders to participate, the level of clarity on how feedback will be used, the desire to provide input on at least one of the topic areas assessed, and the elimination of confusion from employees who might mistakenly believe they already responded to a new survey administered at a separate point in time. 

Fewer business disruptions: Integrated surveys divert attention from mission-critical work only once, rather than multiple times when surveys are administered separately at different points in time. Organizations with largely deskless workers or hard to reach populations such as clinical staff within healthcare organizations can especially benefit from gathering a wide variety of feedback at a single point in time, diverting attention only once and minimizing business disruption. 

Richer insights: By gathering multiple types of perceptions at a single point in time, leaders can understand how these different perceptions relate to each other without confounding factors, such as time, having a potential influence. This provides more comprehensive insights and confident actions. For example, measuring engagement and safety at the same time reveals how engagement and safety relate to each other and what specific actions can be taken to improve both outcomes. If safety was measured three months later, time is now a confounding factor and it is difficult to conclude how engagement impacts safety and whether another event during the 3 months had an additional impact. Including relevant perceptions, such as adding an M&A survey for employees recently joining through an acquisition, shows the organization is in touch with topics important to those employees today while also understanding how those emergent topics relate to other perceptions such as employee engagement, staff well-being, nursing satisfaction, or safety culture.

Ease and speed of integrated insights: Integrated surveys are reported as discrete listening events within a single application in Perceptyx’s People Insights Platform, allowing for clear understanding of a particular focus area (e.g., clearly understanding nursing perceptions for Magnet). Analysis within the reporting site through integrated dashboards and intuitive functionality also allows for immediate understanding of how perceptions across these discrete surveys relate to each other, quickly and easily surfacing a more comprehensive understanding of employees’ experiences and needed actions.

Simplified governance: Frequent listening adds a layer of complexity as organizations balance the need to continuously listen and act with the need to ensure stakeholders are following organizational-wide guidance on how to listen and what to listen about. Integrated surveys streamline the governance process by combining multiple discrete surveys into a single listening event. 

Considerations for Integrating Surveys into One Listening Event

Although there are many benefits to combining multiple surveys togethering into one listening event, this is not always the best approach for every organization or in every circumstance. It is important to recognize the following considerations:

Time to complete: Although overall business disruption is reduced by diverting attention only once versus multiple times, the total time to complete an integrated survey is longer than a single survey due to more content being assessed in a single administration. Clearly understanding the goals of each discrete survey can help narrow content, keeping each survey as brief and targeted as possible and ensuring the time to complete the entire listening event is reasonable for employees. For example, the brevity of Perceptyx’s 14-item Safety Culture Survey allows organizations to quickly understand perceptions and actions needed to advance safety culture while also minimizing the time required from employees to provide their feedback about safety culture and potentially other topics easily assessessed at the same time (e.g., nursing satisfaction, well-being, employee engagement).

Result complexities: Integrated surveys produce more data, including more analysis options to see how perceptions relate and more potential areas to focus action. For organizations just beginning their listening journey, the amount of data available during a single integrated survey experience can sometimes overwhelm leaders and prevent meaningful action from the data. Leverage reporting site best practices recommended by your Perceptyx team, such as integrated dashboards, to simplify the manager experience and focus actions quickly on what matters most.

Diverse stakeholders: Integrated surveys typically include several diverse stakeholders with unique goals, priorities, data needs, and more. Managing multiple stakeholders adds complexities for survey leads as they coordinate decisions across stakeholders with often diverse, and sometimes competing, objectives. Survey leads should involve stakeholders early in the survey development process to ensure their needs are met and provide clear deadlines to ensure decisions are provided in a timely manner. Survey leads should also proactively confirm reporting access early to ensure stakeholders are in agreement on who has access to data from each survey and how that data will be used.

Different timelines: Diverse stakeholders may also have different timelines in which they need listening data in order to make better decisions or apply for certain credentials (e.g., safety culture results needed before magnet redesignation data is needed). Logistically, an integrated survey may not be an option if one stakeholder needs data before other stakeholders. Advanced planning can ensure the integrated survey will produce data within the timelines needed by each stakeholder.

Listening strategy maturity: Implementing integrated surveys can require a certain level of maturity in an organization's listening strategy. Companies should assess their current approach to employee feedback and determine whether they would benefit from the adoption of an integrated survey methodology at this time.

Designing an Integrated Survey Experience: Best Practices for Rich Insights and Clear Actions

To ensure your integrated surveys yield valuable insights and actionable results, it's essential to follow best practices when designing and administering this comprehensive listening event. By adhering to these guidelines, you can create an effective and user-friendly survey experience for your employees while maintaining the clarity and integrity of the data collected.

  • Maintain Survey Distinctiveness: Keep each survey within the integrated experience distinct (e.g., Engagement, Safety Culture, Magnet) to facilitate easy comprehension and interpretation of each separate survey. This will help employees and leaders understand the unique purpose and objectives of each survey component and ensure results needed for specific accreditations meet the defined requirements.

  • Leverage Analytics: Utilize analytics to explore how perceptions across different surveys relate and interact. This can help you identify connections between various aspects of the workplace and guide decision-making for targeted interventions. For example, integrated dashboards within the Perceptyx’s People Insights Platform can quickly identify what actions most strongly impact engagement, safety, and burnout, targeting limited resources on actions with the greatest impact across various outcomes.

Admin/HR dashboard

Perceptyx's dashboards give access to meaningful, integrated insights via "view-at-a-glance" displays

  • Avoid Branching Items: Refrain from branching items to only a subset of participants within a survey. Instead, ensure that employees either complete the entire survey or skip it altogether. For example, an employee either takes the entire safety culture survey or skips the entire safety culture survey but the employee does not respond to only a subset of items within the safety culture survey. Branching across different discrete surveys rather than branching items within a specific survey simplifies reporting and interpretation in an already complex listening event.

  • Use Unique Category Names: Name categories differently across the entire integrated survey experience to prevent confusion among leaders when reviewing the data. This ensures that leaders can easily differentiate between survey components and focus on the relevant insights.

  • Minimize Item Duplication: Ask each item only once and report it in only one survey. Avoid double-reporting an item by duplicating it in reporting to appear across multiple surveys. Instead, analyze the item on the first survey and use this analysis to understand how it relates to perceptions on the second survey. Alternatively, you can ask a differently worded item measuring the same construct on the second survey. For example, a safety item should only appear on the safety survey section of reporting and not appear across multiple surveys such as the Nurse Satisfaction (Magnet) survey as well. Analytics is used to see how this safety perception relates to Nurse satisfaction, Physician engagement, or other employee experiences rather than double-reporting the same item across multiple surveys. 

  • Refrain from Combining Scores: Do not ask two different items and then combine their scores into a single item in reporting. Instead, ask the item only once to all relevant employees to ensure accurate and reliable results. If different populations require different referents for the same item, conditional text can be used. For example, if leaders want to understand perceptions across their workforce about immediate leaders but one group refers to their immediate leader as ‘supervisor’ and another group refers to the immediate leader as ‘manager,’ one item should be asked with the term ‘supervisor’ or ‘manager’ automatically appearing on the survey depending on whether the employee sits within the group using each term.

Insights from Integrated Surveys

By analyzing the data collected from an integrated survey, organizations can identify trends, correlations, and opportunities for improvement, enabling leaders to create targeted interventions and drive positive change. Key insights that can be derived from integrated surveys include:

  • In-depth Understanding of Individual Survey Perceptions: Integrated surveys provide a deep understanding of employee perceptions within each discrete survey, offering a comprehensive view of employee sentiments in specific areas such as engagement, safety culture, burnout, nursing satisfaction, and more.

  • Comprehensive View of Key Metrics: Integrated surveys enable organizations to quickly gain a holistic understanding of multiple key metrics measured across various surveys. This comprehensive view helps organizations prioritize actions and make informed decisions based on a broader understanding of employee experiences.

  • Cross-Survey Relationships: Integrated surveys reveal how perceptions from one survey relate to or impact perceptions from another survey. For example, understanding how safety culture impacts employee engagement and well-being can help organizations identify areas where improvements in one aspect of the workplace may lead to positive changes in another.

  • Actionable Insights and Outcomes: By examining the data collected from integrated surveys, organizations can determine how specific actions may impact a variety of other perceptions and outcomes. For instance, will actions to improve staffing levels also result in improvements to safety, engagement, and well-being?

Ensuring Accurate Insights within Each Survey: Steps for Effective Analysis and Interpretation

To gain accurate insights from integrated surveys, it's essential to follow a systematic approach when analyzing and interpreting the data collected from each discrete survey. By adhering to these steps, organizations can ensure that the insights derived from each survey are reliable, actionable, and relevant.

  • Filter by Survey Participation: Apply filters to account for survey participation when analyzing the data, especially when only a subset of employees participated in a specific survey. This ensures accurate group sizes and scores, allowing for more precise comparisons and insights.

  • Follow Best Practices for Discrete Survey Analysis: Analyze each discrete survey using the same best practices you would employ when administering a standalone survey. Key areas of focus should include:
    • Strengths and opportunities
    • Overall scores
    • Internal comparisons (trend, across groups)
    • External comparisons (benchmarks)
    • Drivers of key outcomes (e.g., engagement, retention, belonging)
    • Differences and similarities across groups
    • Qualitative feedback

  • Utilize Dashboards and Crosstabs: Examine dashboards to quickly summarize key insights across all surveys. Use demographic crosstabs to explore how perceptions from one survey impact outcomes and perceptions from another survey. This enables organizations to identify connections and trends across different aspects of the workplace.

  • Apply Filters for Cross-Survey Analysis: Use filters to examine the relationships between perceptions from one survey and outcomes or perceptions from another survey. This can help organizations identify areas where improvements in one aspect of the workplace may lead to positive changes in another.

  • Conduct a Combined Favorability Report: Perform a driver analysis using a combined favorability report to identify which actions have the greatest impact on employee perceptions and experiences. This focused approach enables organizations to prioritize actions based on what matters most to their employees.

The value of combining multiple healthcare surveys into a single listening event is clear: integrated surveys quickly and efficiently provide healthcare organizations with valuable insights into various aspects of employee experience, such as engagement, safety culture, burnout, and nursing satisfaction. By analyzing the collected data, organizations can gain a comprehensive understanding of key metrics, identify cross-survey relationships, and derive actionable insights for driving positive change. This holistic, single-point-in-time approach enables leaders to make informed decisions and prioritize actions based on a broader understanding of employee experiences. 

Beyond integrating surveys within a single listening event, the Perceptyx People Insights Platform also facilitates integration of perceptions across separate listening events and with critical business metrics. For example, organizations can explore how perceptions of those who have left the organization differ from those who are still with the organization to identify systemic signals and targeted actions to boost retention. Integrating employee perceptions with patient experience provides a robust understanding of where to focus actions to not only improve employee experiences but also drive positive improvements in patient loyalty. When executed well, integrated surveys, along with integrating perceptions across listening events and with business metrics, can elevate employee listening for healthcare organizations.

Perceptyx Delivers Integrated, Data-Driven Insights to Help You Empower Your Workforce

Partnering with Perceptyx allows you to develop an employee listening and actioning strategy that uncovers perceptions and unique behaviors of your workforce. By leveraging integrated surveys and our People Insights Platform, you can better understand and address the needs of your employees, fostering a thriving and engaged workforce.

To embark on this journey, speak to a member of our team or take our free interactive listening maturity assessment

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