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VOLUME 48 | NUMBER 1 | FEBRUARY 2013


The Importance of a High-Performance Work Environment in Hospitals

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Keywords: Acute inpatient care; quality of care/patient safety (measurement); patient assessment/satisfaction; health care organizations and systems; work environment; high performance work systems; management practices; organizational behavior

Objective: To examine the benefits of a high-performance work environment (HPWE) for employees, patients, and hospitals.

Study Setting: Forty-five adult, medical-surgical units in nine hospitals in upstate New York.

Study Design: Cross-sectional study.

Data Collection: Surveys were collected from 1,527 unit-based hospital providers (68.5 percent response rate). Hospitals provided unit turnover and patient data (16,459 discharge records and 2,920 patient surveys).

Principal Findings: HPWE, as perceived by multiple occupational groups on a unit, is significantly associated with desirable work processes, retention indicators, and care quality.

Conclusion: Our findings underscore the potential benefits for providers, patients, and health care organizations of designing work environments that value and support a broad range of employees as having essential contributions to make to the care process and their organizations.

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