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Wellmont Health System

Wellmont Health System

IMPACT:

Wellmont Health System needed to find a replacement performance solution that also incorporated competency management. After adopting HealthStream’s Performance Center, Wellmont has experienced:  

  • A fully implemented performance solution in place within three months of purchase
  • User-friendly functionality that allowed staff to be fully trained in weeks
  • Completion rates for annual performance reviews of 96% and 99.6% for 2012 and 2013, respectively

THE CHALLENGE:

Wellmont Health System is a nationally recognized healthcare provider in the Tri-Cities region of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. With 6,600 caregivers and hundreds of physicians, Wellmont operates 1,300 beds and provides a continuum of services ranging from community-based acute care to highly specialized tertiary services. Wellmont also offers the region’s most advanced robotic surgery program, has a level three neonatal intensive care unit, and is the only health system in Tennessee to offer two major trauma centers.When the learning management system Wellmont had been using stopped supporting their performance management tool, they needed to find a replacement performance solution that also incorporated competency management. As part of their decision-making process, Wellmont spent three years evaluating options, reviewing demos, and talking to other users.

SOLUTION:

Wellmont chose HealthStream for three reasons:

  • HealthStream’s reputation for an outstanding customer service experience
  • HealthStream’s shared platform, where the functional pieces worked seamlessly together
  • A talent management solution that was designed specifically for healthcare

“We wanted a healthcare-based solution, and we wanted an integrated solution where all the parts work together easily. It was also really important to have a high level of customer service—we need answers fast, not three weeks after the fact. We purchased HealthStream’s Implementation Services for our solution, and they were fantastic. We can’t say enough about the team responsible for making our project successful,” says Vickie Boatman, Wellmont System Director of Organizational Development. Upon selecting HealthStream, Wellmont quickly prioritized the three solutions purchased (Learning Center, Performance Center, and Competency Center) and determined the HealthStream Performance Center would be the first solution to implement.

“If not for the HealthStream Performance Center, we would have received a deficiency from the Joint Commission because we were late with our evaluations. We had to demonstrate to them in good faith that we were addressing our performance evaluation timeliness issue. Now we could run reports to see the total number of performance appraisals completed by system, facility, department, and individual. This tool provides a way for us to ensure all employees are reviewed annually and that we are in compliance with Joint Commission, too” Boatman added.

Wellmont’s performance appraisal process begins each July with a required completion date of October, and they began their relationship with HealthStream in August 2012. The organization had only a few weeks to develop appraisal templates for more than 700 job descriptions and to train leaders on the new process. In September 2012, Wellmont began working with the HealthStream implementation team to develop the required 700+ performance appraisals for three main categories of staff: (1) Executive Leadership, (2) Leadership, and (3) Employees. As they completed the appraisal/assessment templates and implementation within the desired timeframe, the System Director of Organizational Development attended all of the management meetings that took place at each Wellmont facility to communicate the “go live” date, training dates, and system features.

RESULTS:

In addition to meeting deadlines and avoiding Joint Commission censure, there were other benefits to Wellmont of using HealthStream’s Performance Center. Boatman emphasized the benefit of the ability to do peer reviews, commenting “With more than 6,000 employees, there’s a great advantage in being able to do an assigned peer review or to provide an alternate rater. Employees also now have constant online access to their reviews, the ability to document events, make note of issues, or attach documents like certificates of training or merit awards that will be useful during a review.”

Wellmont also used the tool’s ability to create a reflective plan for staff members from an appraisal. “If you have a rater or manager going over an appraisal and there are items that need improvement, you can set target dates and a reflective plan that show up on the employee’s tasks tab as items that require completion. It stays in front of the employee and engages them,” says Boatman.“Fully developing the skills and potential of our coworkers is perhaps the most critically-important responsibility we have as leaders. On behalf of our community and the patients we serve, the annual employee performance appraisal with HealthStream’s Performance Center is an important tool to help us provide in-depth, individualized feedback to coach and develop our workforce.”

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