Value Walks

Value Walks

Successful habits for improving workforce motivation and productivity in healthcare.

Mark Britnell

Global Healthcare Expert, KPMG International; Senior Partner, KPMG in the UK

KPMG in the UK

Doctor running through hospital lobby

For decades now, much of the health policy being debated across the world has focused on laudable but technocratic changes aimed at influencing the way in which healthcare is delivered.

As a result, reform has tended to concentrate on payment systems, governance practice, organizational structures, regulation, better purchasing and the welcome explosion of clinical information to patients and citizens alike.

But anyone who has ever managed a healthcare provider will tell you that the most important and sustainable difference to the quality and cost of patient care actually result from the design of the clinical care process, the degree of innovation in the business model, and the motivation of staff. Indeed, all too often, pushing a single-minded focus on productivity ends up demoralizing professionals and other staff. With this in mind, we have developed this report to examine how health systems leaders can create a seemingly paradoxical synergy: enhancing productivity while simultaneously increasing work attractiveness and professional motivation.

A more radical approach that can deliver both better quality and lower cost must be found if we are to fundamentally address the challenges that are already upon us. With deeper analysis, it becomes clear that while for the past 60 years or more technical, therapeutic and professional advances have revolutionized many clinical procedures, the truth is that the underlying business and care models have remained largely unaltered. Unlike most other industries, healthcare has proved to be particularly stubborn when faced with radical change.

There is a better way. We firmly believe that the five successful habits that we have identified for improving workforce motivation and productivity can produce better quality at lower cost. 

We would like to thank our clients and all of those that participated in the valuable research. Those seeking a more detailed analysis of our findings can read the full report. We hope that this report raises the profile of what is currently a relatively neglected issue, and that workforce considerations will become a more prominent component of the debate on maximizing value and reducing costs in health systems around the world.

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