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Hosp Top. 1999 Winter;77(1):14-26.

The hidden competencies of healthcare: why self-esteem, accountability, and professionalism may affect hospital customer satisfaction scores.

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University of Houston-Clear Lake, USA.


Data from 103 for-profit, nonprofit, and government-owned hospitals, spread across about half of the United States clearly show that there are common elements and several core competencies in all hospitals, some probably driven by JCAHO accreditation standards, but others coming from universal experience stemming from the changes in healthcare. The common competencies that are not, in my opinion, driven directly by the JCAHO standards include professionalism, accountability, self-esteem, customer service/focus, communication, information management/using data in decision making, and teamwork. There are several possible connections among the core competencies that suggest that the effects of accountability and possibly self-esteem on such outcomes as patient satisfaction and quality of care should be the subject of more research in healthcare settings. There are, however, several possible interventions to increase the core competency base of any hospital, which can be applied without this research. Executives and managers who attempt to measure and change these common competencies through selection, assessment, organizational system change, or reward and compensation systems will change the competence base of their workforce in critical areas needed in the future healthcare economy. Using a competence model incorporating these competencies may change the culture of the organization toward that which will be needed for survival in the twenty-first century.

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