Ask the Expert: What You Need to Know About Johns Hopkins Medicine Surveys

Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty and staff are often asked to participate in surveys throughout the year. This year, JHM is administering three important surveys over a consolidated time frame to assess a variety of criteria about employees’ satisfaction at work: the Johns Hopkins Medicine Employee Engagement Survey, the Safety Culture Assessment and the Johns Hopkins Hospital Registered Nurse Satisfaction Survey. What’s the purpose of each survey, and which survey are you supposed to take?  Our experts Carol Woodward, human resources consultant for The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Lori Paine, director of patient safety for The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, and Patty Dawson, assistant director of central nursing for The Johns Hopkins Hospital, answer your most frequently asked questions in this week’s Hopkins Happening Ask the Expert.

1.      What’s the purpose of each survey?

The Employee Engagement Survey uses 12 highly researched and reliable questions to gauge the engagement of Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty and staff.  Employee engagement is the relationship between an organization and its employees.  Engaged employees are fully committed to their organization, loyal and willing to give discretionary effort to help the organization achieve its goals and further its reputation.  Organizations with high levels of employee engagement are generally more productive, efficient, safe, customer friendly and financially successful.

The Safety Culture Assessment is intended to measure caregiver attitudes related to the climate or culture of safety throughout the organization. We know that local culture can have an impact on the delivery of safe care. The information collected through this survey provides a snapshot of the overall safety culture in a given work area or within a team.

The NDNQI RN Satisfaction Survey assesses the frontline nurses’ satisfaction with the professional practice environment.  The tool provides valuable unit-level information about 11 areas of nursing practice including interactions with colleagues, autonomy, professional development opportunities and nursing leadership support.

2.      How will the surveys be administered?

The Employee Engagement Survey will be available March 9 to March 29. On March 9, you will receive a formal invitation from Gallup to take the survey along with a unique, randomly selected code you will use to access the survey online. This code will ensure your confidentiality. Visit the Gallup’s secure survey site to participate.

The Safety Culture Assessment will be available from March 9 to April 10 through your unit. Eligible staff will receive survey instructions from their unit's predetermined safety coordinator. For questions about the Safety Culture Assessment, please contact your manager.

Eligible RNs will receive an email invitation for participation that will include the hyperlink and website address, along with The Johns Hopkins Hospital survey code.  The survey is open from April 6 to 26.  For questions, ask your manager or visit the nursing intranet for full details.

3.      I think I just took a similar survey. How do these surveys differ from the other job satisfaction surveys that are done on an organizational level?

Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty and staff are often asked to participate in surveys that evaluate many areas. These three particular surveys have been identified by Johns Hopkins Medicine as critical to evaluating different aspects of our work environment, including how we take care of ourselves and others, the culture of safety at our institution, and perceptions of direct care and professional practice environment.

4.      How do these surveys support Johns Hopkins Medicine’s strategic priorities?

A primary measure of the people priority in Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Strategic Plan is engagement. These three surveys provide important feedback that helps us succeed in attracting and retaining the world’s best people. In addition, the safety culture assessment supports JHM’s patient-and family-centered care priority, while NDNQI RN Satisfaction is key to supporting our designation of excellence in the Magnet Recognition Program, which is also tied to the patient-and family-centered care priority.

5.      How will these surveys help improve my unit/department?

Surveys results will help us identify strengths that exist within our teams. Each of these surveys provides a unique perspective on the work environment.  When taken together, the surveys can provide managers and team members with a more complete, holistic view of their workgroups.  Each team can then identify strengths and opportunities for improvement, and create an integrated plan to make the workplace better for patients and employees.

6.      Which surveys do I need to take?

All Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins University faculty and staff should participate in the Employee Engagement Survey.

All Johns Hopkins Medicine staff members who directly affect patient care at any Johns Hopkins Medicine entity are asked to complete both the Safety Culture Assessment and the Employee Engagement Survey. This includes nurses, physicians, clinical associates, unit associates, technicians, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, social workers and others.

A nurse working in direct patient care at The Johns Hopkins Hospital is asked to provide their thoughts on all three surveys—NDNQI RN Satisfaction survey, Safety Culture Assessment and Employee Engagement Survey.

7.      Are the survey results confidential? Who will see the survey results?

Confidentiality of results is very important to Johns Hopkins Medicine and to the vendors we partner with in administering the surveys. Responses to all three surveys are confidential.

For the Employee Engagement Survey, faculty and staff will receive an email invitation to take it with a unique survey code.  Results are only published if there are at least five responses. Gallup maintains the survey data in a secure server.

Results from the Safety Culture Assessment are not tied to any unique identifiable information about you. Information is only made available to managers for groups/sub-groups with more than five respondents.

Completed responses to the NDNQI questionnaire are submitted directly to NDNQI. Your responses cannot be linked to you. Personal characteristics, such as age, sex, education, are not reported to individual units. Units with fewer than four participants will not receive NDNQI survey results.

8.      Any hints on how to maximize the response rate?

The best way to maximize the response rate is to commit to sharing the results and using the information to guide plans for your unit after the survey’s completion. This can be sharing progress toward the survey goal on a daily basis during the survey administration period.

The surveys are not time-consuming, with most individuals able to complete each survey in 10 to 20 minutes. Some managers schedule “survey time” into the daily routine, or provide a dedicated workstation on the unit where staff can complete the surveys.  Others offer a unit incentive, such as a pizza party or free Daily Grind gift cards, to the unit that achieves the highest completion rate.

For the NDNQI RN Satisfaction survey, a daily announcement will be made about the completion rate.

9.      How will the survey data be used?

The surveys are intended to help us create a better Johns Hopkins Medicine.  The survey data will be used to analyze strengths and identify areas for improvements among departments and units, as well as help guide manager’s in their plans to address the strategic priorities.

10.  What happens with the results after I complete the survey(s)?

For the Employee Engagement Survey, the responses are tabulated by the Gallup Organization and within six to eight weeks workgroup reports are generated and disseminated to managers.

The Safety Culture Assessment data will be analyzed by Pascal Metrics at the end of the survey period.  Results will be made available within six weeks.

The results of all NDNQI RN Satisfaction surveys will be available by early-to mid-June.  More information about how to obtain the data and access tools to conduct debriefings with your unit staff/care team will be made available to you closer to that time.

Offer to be a part of the discussion of the results and make your recommendations about how you take advantage of your strengths or make improvements.


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