hospital, performance, volunteerism, profit margin, patient satisfaction, cost savings
Volunteers have been present in healthcare settings for centuries, however there is little empirical evidence supporting the impact that volunteers make on hospital performance. Since the 1990s, hospitals in the United States have had a great deal of pressure to produce high quality care at minimum expense. With the pressures of managed care and accrediting agencies, the benefits of using volunteers in a hospital setting are multiplied. Furthermore, as the population of the United States grows and the aging population creates more healthcare needs, the need for volunteers in hospitals may increase. This study utilized multiple regression analysis to explore the belief that the volunteer workforce is cost effective and can greatly enhance quality in a hospital setting. Hospitals throughout the state of Florida were invited to participate in the study by completing a brief questionnaire about their volunteer programs. Performance indicators of profit margin, volunteer cost savings, and patient satisfaction scores were analyzed using American Hospital Association and Agency for Health Care Administration data sets along with data obtained from the questionnaire. Results indicate that the use of volunteers offer significant cost savings to hospitals. Furthermore, the assignment of volunteers in patient settings can enhance a hospital's patient satisfaction scores. It also suggests that there is a need to further explore the impact of volunteers on other performance measures. Future research opportunities and policy recommendations are suggested.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Hotchkiss, Renee Brent, "Valuing Volunteers: The Impact Of Volunteerism On Hospital Performance" (2007). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 3210.