Cultural Transformation and Financial Improvement Enhances Community Hospital

By increasing transparency, improving efficiency and integrating compatible technology, T.J. Samson Community Hospital (T.J. Samson) was able to boost employee engagement, recover costs and continue serving its community as an independent health system.

Challenge

T.J. Samson experienced interconnecting cultural, financial and clinical challenges. Misalignment around goals and strategic vision produced low employee engagement and high turnover, the latter of which contributed to the organization’s financial strain. In addition to turnover costs, the organization was concerned about the costs incurred from revenue cycle inefficiencies and the inconsistent application of process best practices. Collectively, these issues resulted in low patient satisfaction and experience ratings.

Approach

The Huron and T.J. Sampson teams began by addressing underlying culture and leadership issues, including transparency, accountability, efficiency and alignment. The teams also identified revenue cycle performance improvements and electronic health record (EHR) platform integrations that would have the most impact on consumer and employee satisfaction as well as their financial success. The teams achieved this by:

Standardizing goals and leadership objectives. Together, the teams implemented a robust leadership evaluation system that provided the framework for greater transparency between employees and leadership. This system clearly tied individual goals to broader strategic ones and connected compensation to performance. The teams also implemented an employee rounding program to strengthen internal relationships and achieve greater clinical alignment.

These initiatives were successful in reducing turnover rates and their associated costs and increasing employee engagement. The improved alignment and communication led to higher patient satisfaction scores, as measured by the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS).

Improving employee confidence in leadership. The leadership evaluation system clarified roles and responsibilities, which helped to establish accountability across the organization. The employee rounding program fostered greater communication between leadership and employees, increased employee loyalty and was instrumental in lowering the turnover rate.

Stabilizing the organization financially. Increased efficiency and updated processes within the revenue cycle led to significant cash improvement, which put the organization back on solid financial footing.

Additionally, T.J. Samson and Huron worked to convert the EHR platform, including integration of a post-acute home health solution. Optimizing technology made the organization more efficient, enabling it to focus on serving the community and delivering exceptional care experiences.

T.J. Samson Community Hospital has been a critical part of caring for the residents of south-central Kentucky for 90 years. As part of a system that includes multiple hospitals, urgent care centers, retail clinics and specialty care facilities, T.J. Samson Community Hospital aims to provide healthcare that is respectful, compassionate and convenient.

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