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The link between pre-employment tests and better patient outcomes

Imagine knowing before it happened that a nurse was likely to mistakenly give a patient the wrong medication. Or imagine being able to predict that a nurse’s aide would be the one who caught an incorrect doctor’s order before a procedure was performed. Or imagine knowing which of two candidates for a physician’s assistant would make a career at your medical practice and which would leave after six months.

It doesn’t take a crystal ball—just science.

A global leadership company DDI has released a new study, “Better Hires, Better Outcomes,” which it says definitively demonstrates that hiring assessments accurately predict on-the-job performance linked to the triple aim of improving the patient experience, improving population health, and reducing costs.

“Every person who works in healthcare has a tremendous responsibility toward patients, and a bad hire can have disastrous consequences that could cost patients their lives,” said Jim Thomas, vice president at DDI and leader of its healthcare practice. “The good news is that healthcare employers don’t have to guess. This study offers scientifically backed evidence that employers can predict which employees are most likely to perform well in high-stress situations, be the least likely to make an error, and most likely to spot a safety risk.”

The study was based on DDI’s analysis of 6,086 assessments of U.S. healthcare employees in all levels of jobs up to frontline leaders across the continuum of care. DDI compared the employees’ assessments with their on-the-job performance in five categories: Safety, Quality, Service Orientation, Inspirational Leadership, and Engagement & Retention.

Compared to candidates who scored in the bottom 25 percent, healthcare workers who score in the top 25 percent of DDI’s assessments were:

  • Twice as likely to maintain a safe work environment
  • Three times as likely to maintain low error rates
  • Nearly three times more likely to exemplify quality care
  • More than two times more apt to show superior patient assessment skills
  • Twice as likely to excel at making decisions and problem-solving
  • Nearly four times more likely to drive efficiency
  • Twice as likely to be engaged in their jobs

Editor’s picks:

Model Form: ABC Medical Office use of social media for pre-employment screening

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