The importance of actively involving employees to improve patient satisfaction

Vall d’Hebron Hospital,

Barcelona, Spain

The importance of actively involving employees to improve patient satisfaction

5 May 2021 | 5min

­­­Vall d’Hebron Hospital is a world-leading healthcare complex where healthcare, research, teaching and innovation go hand in hand. The hospital is located in Barcelona, Spain. It has 1,146 beds and sees about 62,500 patients per year, making it one of the most important in Spain.

Overview

As part of the strategic plan defined by the Pathological Anatomy Service to uplevel service standards, the Tissue Unit in the Vall d’Hebron hospital wanted an inclusive process for ensuring that all members of its lab were aligned on their strategy, purpose and value, as well as the lab’s long-term objectives. Together with Roche Healthcare Consulting, the leaders at the hospital made it a priority to actively involve their staff in the goal-setting and strategic visioning process of their unit. Collectively, they identified problem areas to prioritize and allocated resources to address these inefficiencies to improve the customer journey.

One clear outcome was the redesign of the Tissue Unit, which was based on the implementation of lean principles such as 3P (Production Preparation Process). Through continuous improvement to eliminate waste and optimize workflow, the redesign resulted in higher employee engagement, talent attraction, and operational lab excellence through continuous improvement.

Opportunities

Transforming services: Rethinking standards of operation and redesigning services to be more functional, dynamic and operational.

Optimizing workflows: Removing unnecessary tasks, transport delays and bottlenecks caused by unused or obsolete equipment, multiple manual processes, unnecessary staff walking distances, and misuse of human resources.

Improving diagnostic quality: Optimizing the workplace and workflows within the lab to decrease potential errors and improve the accuracy, reliability, and timeliness of results.

Increasing staff satisfaction: Making the hospital a collaborative, safe, efficient and inclusive working environment to stay innovative and attract top talent.

Approach

Visualizing the strategy in a workshop with leadership and staff. Working together to identify and understand resource needs across the lab using tools such as the Kano method and 3P principle to help prioritize features based on the customer journey and satisfaction.

Standardized processes and distribution of work to facilitate work flows and avoid risks to ensure quality of work, decrease of errors, and resource optimization.

Workspace redesign and introduction of open spaces to facilitate workflows, versatile projects, communication and coordination between different areas of service; versatile spaces that adapt to multiple projects.

Technical functionality to optimize sample processing equipment and its auxiliary equipment to allow task sharing, eliminate duplication and better distribution of work.

Outcomes

Strategy

Vall d’Hebron Hospital case study
Development of a clear improvement and implementation strategy for the next 3 years to leverage the value of the Anatomical Pathology Service to the customer.

Job Satisfaction

Vall d’Hebron Hospital case study
Expected decrease of errors in the process due to proposed improvements in workflows and optimization of sample processing equipment.

Workflows

Vall d’Hebron Hospital case study
Optimized workflows and processes within the service areas to help reduce delays and unnecessary staff walking distance.

Decrease of errors

Vall d’Hebron Hospital case study
Expected increase in job satisfaction as a result of workspace redesign. Open spaces help to break down team silos, promote group commitment and communication, and improve work dynamics such as staff training.

Conclusion

Innovation is a group effort. When everyone is able to look at the big picture and identify areas of improvement together, it ensures transparency and that all needs are met – particularly those most impacted by any suggested changes.

Running strategic workshops and implementing lean methodologies and principles, Vall d’Hebron Hospital was able to create a 3-year strategy and allow for workspace redesign that would optimize workflows and put everyone’s needs at the forefront. This helped to ensure that their pain points were addressed so that they could continue to innovate and thrive as a world-leading healthcare complex.

Vall d’Hebron Hospital is a public and university-affiliated hospital founded in 1955. It belongs to the Catalan Health Institute and is the hospital complex with the highest volume of interventions in Catalonia, Spain.