Shortage of Skilled Professionals in Hospitals? Magnet Philosophy Offers New Organizational Approach

The increasing shortage of qualified health care workers and doctors forces hospitals to apply innovative personnel management concepts to recruit staff and get their long-term commitment. The goal is to insure medical quality and patient satisfaction. Prof. Dr. Dr. Wilfried von Eiff, Academic Director of the Center for Health Care Management and Regulation at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, encourages the introduction of the concept of the Magnet Hospital, which is already successful in the USA.

In the Focus: Staff and Patient Satisfaction

The American approach of a Magnet Hospital originally refers to medical institutions where health care professionals with excellent skills contribute to offer excellent medical care, a smooth and low-risk process of patient care, innovations are implemented quickly and effectively and the patient satisfaction is high. In addition, work satisfaction is high and the labor turnover rate is low. The attractiveness of a Magnet Hospital as an employer results from the orchestrated realization of the „14 forces of Magnetism“ and the „eight guiding principles“ which form the business culture.

The Magnet initiative confirms a connection between labor conditions (working hours, resources, organization) and incentive schemes (payments, recognition) on the one hand, and patient satisfaction and medical quality on the other. „There is a clear connection between staff and patient satisfaction,“ says hospital economist Prof. Dr. Dr. von Eiff.
According to the HHL Professor, the concept is based on the conviction that organizational and personnel related framework conditions affect the staff’s attitude on ethical values. The concept also includes the creation of a hospital working environment that supports the recovery process from a patient’s point of view, as well as the provision of diverse jobs from the staff’s point of view. „Looking at the benefits in Magnet Hospitals, there is no reason to postpone the introduction of a Magnet culture in German hospitals,“ says Prof. Dr. Dr. von Eiff.

Benefits of Magnet Philosophy Excel Costs by far

Costs for personnel are up to 70 percent of the total hospital costs. Nursing staff are the biggest group of professionals. These professionals have the closest and most time-consuming engagement with patients. However, coming under cost pressure, hospital managers often try to reduce expenses by reducing nursing personnel instead of using them as a source for solving problems.
According to Prof. Dr. Dr. von Eiff the benefits of the Magnet Philosophy in this context, specifically the reduced length of stay of the patient in the hospital, the expenses of care per patient, the verifiable increase in patient satisfaction, and a lower rate of burn out, injury and fluctuation of staff, as well as an increase in staff motivation, by far outweigh the costs.

In the context of the part-time MBA in General Management with the specialization on „Hospital Management and Health Services“, Professor Dr. Dr. Wilfried von Eiff offers a study trip to Phoenix/Arizona to the Phoenix Healthcare Hospital, which is accredited with the Magnet status, from July 21 to July 25.

Prof. Dr. Dr. Wilfried von Eiff

Prof. von Eiff has been the Academic Director at HHL’s Center for Health Care Management and Regulation since December 1, 2013. In addition, he holds an extraordinary professorship for Health Care Management here and is therefore integrated in the academic group of Economics and Regulation.
Professor von Eiff, who was born in Gießen, Germany, has been a Professor for Hospital Management at the University of Münster since 1994 and manages the Centre for Hospital Management (CKM). Amongst others, his work focuses on purchasing and logistics management, business process management, strategic management, mergers and acquisition, quality management, income improvement programs, controlling and benchmarking as well as medical controlling. Professor von Eiff acts as a Health Economics Consultant for the International Institute for Health Economics.
At HHL, Professor von Eiff is involved in teaching, amongst others, in the part-time MBA program specializing on „Hospital Management and Health Services“ staring in June 2014. In addition, Prof. von Eiff is involved in the organization and execution of the CASiM Conference 2014 on the topic „Boundaryless Hospital“. /

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is a university-level institution and ranks amongst the leading international business schools. The goal of the most venerable business school in German-speaking Europe is to educate effective, responsible and entrepreneurially minded leaders.

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