Every health system aspires to receive high rankings from respected organizations like U.S. News & World Report, Healthgrades, and The Leapfrog Group. However, most hospitals will earn low marks in one or another at some point in time, and addressing them head-on is imperative.
Sometimes a lower ranking isn’t warranted. Your hospital might be ranked unfairly due to high case volumes and transfer rates. Or perhaps you’ve prioritized aspects of care that aren’t weighted as heavily in the rankings. Recently, we looked at ways hospitals can use email to overcome undeserved rankings like these.
Other times, a low ranking highlights an area that really does require improvement. Many hospital strategists view such rankings as a call-to-action. In these cases, email becomes a valuable tool for internal communication during the many months, or even years, required to implement lasting change.
Change Is Hard
Addressing the underlying causes of a specific low ranking can be difficult. Improving rankings in critical areas, such as sepsis or patient experience, typically requires a sustained campaign that educates key contributors and evaluates the steps taken to address deficiencies. Strong internal communication—both across service lines and between hospital administrators and medical staff—is essential.
Email simplifies direct communication across service lines and shift changes.
Email Supports An Integrated Effort
Because it’s both flexible and fast, hospital administrators and service line leaders are using email to integrate efforts across departments over an extended period of time. Email provides a number of benefits that print and word-of-mouth can’t offer:
- Frequent messages keep contributors current. When service line leaders use email to communicate an improvement plan to relevant constituents, all contributors can be kept up-to-date on overall progress. Changes can be communicated instantly to everyone involved, so details don’t fall through the cracks.
- Direct communication galvanizes internal teams. By addressing low rankings directly with employees, hospital administrators and service line leaders encourage medical staff to take ownership of necessary improvements. Email simplifies direct communication across large groups and shift changes.
- Progress reports inspire success. Email provides an efficient channel for sharing the many small successes that add up to significant, lasting improvement. Publicizing one group’s progress inspires others to achieve the same.
To Learn More
Our latest healthcare ebook takes a close look at how one health system addressed a “worse than average” rating for infection prevention after knee surgery. Their improvement plan used a four-part email program to coordinate efforts to improve sepsis scores, not only in the orthopedic surgery group, but across service lines.
The ebook also includes case studies of how health systems can use email to:
- Reframe low rankings that don’t accurately reflect your hospital’s strengths
- Maximize the impact of high rankings through strategic physician outreach
To read these case studies, download “Making the Most of U.S. News and World Report Rankings: A Health Systems Guide.”