Don’t worry. Be happy… and improve patient safety/medical care.

Hospital Enacts New Mandatory Happy Hour for Employees

keep-calm-its-happy-hour“Go figure out the best way to improve patient safety and medical care at our hospital.” was what CEO of Memorial Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, Dr. Gina Stockdale, posed to her panel members. A junior panel member in the back of the room raised his hand and said, “How about a happy hour for employees?”

It may seem ridiculous that down-time and socializing outside the hospital could have measurable positive effects on patient care and performance inside (it certainly did seem silly to some on the panel, as laughter initially followed the suggestion). But, research is showing that socializing and communication can be extremely beneficial to workplace performance. For Memorial Hospital, who as of August 1st has instilled a mandatory 30-minute happy hour session for employees, close collaboration and communication between healthcare staff and teams have already improved, and with it — patient care.

“Numerous studies show that communication between colleagues improves performance and patient outcomes,” said Janet Wilkerson, a patient safety analyst. “It only makes sense to create an atmosphere that promotes interaction and discussion in the hospital. I can’t think of a better way to do that than a happy hour.”

Though their methods are controversial, and we would never endorse mixing alcohol and medical care, Memorial Hospital has made a connection to a theme that we at Prista would like to continue talking about, “Happier staff makes for better care.”

Increasing communication and reducing the stress of managing Risk, Quality and Performance initiatives can and will improve workplace satisfaction and patient care. These key areas (Risk, Quality, Performance and team communication) are at the heart of the ActionCue Clinical Intelligence application.

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For more information on how the ActionCue hospital risk management software can make you happier or to schedule a demo visit

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About the Author Faris Islam

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