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Learning How Innovative Leadership and Analytics Are Transforming the Healthcare Delivery Value Stream


Wed Sep 21 2016

Learning How Innovative Leadership and Analytics Are Transforming the Healthcare Delivery Value Stream

Healthcare leaders are well aware that healthcare talent development professionals are experiencing new, unprecedented workforce development challenges. Higher-quality experience expectations by patients and Affordable Care Act (ACA)–mandated patient outcomes and satisfaction scores that can result in financial penalties are both directly linked to the daily practices of our caregivers.

Marshall McLuhan observed in 1968 that when faced with a new environment, especially one involving new technology, we tend to look at our present environment through a rear-view mirror, marching backward into the future and experiencing disorientation. The ACA-mandated volume-based care to value-based care shift, an increasingly sophisticated and demanding patient, and new healthcare technologies certainly qualify as a new environment that demands forward thinking.


We see a rear-view-mirror-approach example with clinical value analysis. Making wise supply chain purchasing decisions to equip our healthcare providers with the tools they require to optimize the patient experience while minimizing avoidable purchasing costs is a necessity. What is missing from this clinical value analysis is the performance of the people who use these resources to deliver patient care. The clinical value chain is a step in the right direction.  

Talent Development Is Essential to the Value Stream 

However, talent development professionals must address the human performance element of a larger healthcare delivery value stream or the anticipated cost savings and quality care benefit gains will not occur. This is especially true when we narrow the focus to the nursing profession, which makes up the largest portion of the healthcare delivery system. How do their daily practices alone affect this healthcare delivery value stream?

A study by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to address nurse-related ACA mandates reports that we must develop nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training. This study found that uneven performance on nurse-sensitive outcomes was a symptom of confusion about nurse role accountability, responsibility, and authority, resulting in a task-based focus versus a profession focus. This role confusion was considered a root cause to explain why there is a variation in practice and a lack of consistency of care that decreases the quality of care and wastes money due to practice inefficiencies and errors. The IOM stated this lack of professional role competence was a barrier to optimizing nurses’ role scope, which leads to practice excellence.

A growing number of healthcare executives are expecting talent development professionals to do something about inconsistent nurse behaviors, practices, and outcomes. It seems appropriate to shift our eyes forward rather than backward, where we do more of what we have always done. Fortunately, research indicates there is a trend emerging among executives around the globe across multiple industries regarding their human capital management expectations that has significant implications for healthcare executives and talent development professionals to close this nurse performance consistency gap. 

Leaders Can Glean Vital Insight With Analytics 

Multiple human capital trend studies reveal a growing shift by executive-level decision makers to design and measure their human capital strategy using big data analytics technologies. For example, two independent 2015 studies published by Deloitte and The Conference Board reveal human capital has been the top issue for executives around the globe for multiple years. A 2015 CareerBuilder study (conducted by Harris Poll) reveals that 90 percent of executives expect those of us in the human capital profession to be proficient in workforce analytics, with 35 percent saying it is absolutely essential. Yet, the Deloitte report reveals that only 8.4 percent of executives believe they possess strong human capital analytics capabilities.


In addition, a 2014 study from Oxford Economics and SAP reports that 53 percent of executives indicate that workforce data are a key competitive differentiator, yet only 38 percent of these executives believe they have ample workforce data to understand their organization’s talent strengths and vulnerabilities. Finally, according to the World Economic Forum, of all the human capital domains, talent development is the most critical factor “linking innovation, competitiveness and growth in the 21st century.”

A growing number of healthcare executives are no longer willing to guess the strengths and vulnerabilities of their healthcare staff so they can ensure every patient receives consistent, quality care. They also want to avoid costly resourcing mistakes. Ultimately, they want to dramatically reduce patient and healthcare system risk. What they don’t know is whether their talent development professionals are capable of addressing the IOM workforce behavior challenge and providing new human capital insights that will give them a scalable, enterprise-wide perspective to optimize workforce performance at the individual, team, and organization levels.

Big data analytics technology is changing the talent development landscape. This business intelligence capability has become a common practice in many functional areas but has been lagging in the talent development profession. It is incumbent upon healthcare leaders to recognize the implications of this changing landscape and integrate talent development intelligence analytics into their needs assessment and evaluation programs.

This means going beyond learning analytics that uses data about each learner gathered from end-of-course survey ratings or comments and assessment scores typically extracted from a learning management system. Talent development analytics will allow us to make our own volume-to-value shift to diagnose and remedy hidden workplace behavior and practices that later reveal themselves in Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) surveys and ACA-mandated reports. 

Want to Learn More? 

During my session at ATD’s Healthcare Executive Summit 2016, I will show how talent development professionals at various healthcare systems are currently transforming their delivery value stream by using talent development analytics technology to diagnose and remedy inefficiencies and role confusion hidden in big data that increase hospital expenses and jeopardize patient care. This talent development analytics technology is helping them identify and correct hidden and costly daily practice variations using leading competency indicators rather than waiting for lagging business indicators.


In addition, I will discuss how to evaluate the effectiveness of the solutions to make sure each remedy is working as desired and is a worthwhile investment. This planning and evaluation model helps define value for all key stakeholders, and align the activities and metrics required to satisfy all stakeholders. The evaluation phase established evidence about the success of these activities to produce the valued outcomes for each stakeholder, up to the financial return on investment calculation, which more hospital executives are expecting to see.

You’ll learn how to divert your eyes from the rear-view mirror and discover a new perspective for the role that talent development professionals can and should play in the volume-based care to value-based care shift.

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