October 29, 2008

Studer Group Announces Findings From a Groundbreaking Study on Women in the Work Place

Studer Group today announced the compelling findings of a groundbreaking study regarding work/life blend among women employed in healthcare. Studer Group is a preeminent outcomes firm assisting healthcare organizations to attain and sustain high performance results. The Gulf Breeze, Florida-based company announced the study findings this afternoon at a senior executive leadership summit in Chicago in advance of a dinner honoring hospitals and organizations that are being recognized as the "Best Places to Work in Healthcare."

"Work/life blend among female employees in healthcare is a vital issue in this industry," noted Studer Group founder and CEO Quint Studer. "It influences job satisfaction and personal gratification for the majority of these dedicated and talented healthcare workers. Additionally, it has a direct impact on clinical quality and operational results."

To learn more about how healthcare organizations can improve their work/life blend practices, Studer Group sponsored the most comprehensive study ever focused on women in healthcare.

"We were pleased that almost 8,000 women responded to the survey," said Studer. "The respondents were a diverse group both geographically and within job hierarchy."

Studer noted that the study was designed to look at work/life balance but resulting recommendations focus on work/life blend.

"Balance implies a steady state of equilibrium," said Studer. "What is necessary is an intermingling of activities and responsibilities that will change as a worker's personal and work priorities change."

The demanding 365, 24 hours a day, patient care environment, combined with the strong built-in desire to be of service to others, makes being a healthcare leader challenging and demanding. Leadership is the key component to creating a work place that attracts and retains talent.

"There is a proven direct correlation between employee turnover and length of hospital stay for patients as well as mortality," noted Studer. "Lower staff turnover brings shorter length of stay and a lower mortality index. Dr. Gerald Hickson, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, has worked at Vanderbilt in patient safety and litigation to show that smooth hand-offs and good explanations are critical to excellent safety and eliminating claims. Staff satisfaction and low turnover are the foundation of excellent performance."

Here are a few study findings based on the 7,792 respondents.

 --  75% of respondents said they would choose a career in healthcare     again. --  73% would recommend a career in healthcare to others. --  47.9% are satisfied with their work life with 22.5% being very     satisfied. --  46.7% are satisfied with their home life with 27.8% being very     satisfied. --  36% are satisfied with their current work/life blend with only 9%     being very satisfied. A sobering statistic.      

The study further indicates that the majority of women employed in healthcare dedicate themselves to their own personal and emotional needs no more than once a month. Of note, 46% reported tending to their own needs no more than a few times per year.

Furthermore, 45% stated that they experience work/family conflict at least one day or more per week. The following factors were associated with a higher degree of work/family conflict: non-day shift work, mandatory overtime, having children younger than 18, and having caregiving responsibilities for other dependent relatives.

"Due to the passion and skill of female healthcare workers, they are the ones relatives and neighbors turn to in their time of need," noted Studer. "Thus, leaders must take extra steps to assist these healthcare workers to achieve improved work/life blend."

Recommendations for how healthcare organizations can respond to the findings of this study support Studer Group's counsel for quarterly leadership training for all leaders, a performance management system that aligns individual accountabilities to organizational goals, and activities that will impact performance at a grassroots level. Additional information about specific recommendations and more detailed study results can be found at www.studergroup.com/blend. Although the study was targeted to women who work in healthcare (over 80% of healthcare workers are female), the recommendations apply to women and men who are seeking better work/life blend.

"Many healthcare organizations are the largest or second largest employer in the area," concluded Studer. "A better place to work means better communities in which to live. In these challenging economic times, the organizations that best align their human capital by recognizing the invaluable significance of work/life blend will be those that have the most success both clinically and financially."

 For additional information about Studer Group, please contact: Rebecca Rosfeld Levenson & Brinker Public Relations (o) 214-932-6096 (c) 469-995-4977 [email protected]

SOURCE: Studer Group