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New Study Reveals Link Between High Scores on Pre-Employment Tests for Healthcare Workers and Better Patient Outcomes

DDI releases “Better Hires, Better Outcomes” study comparing healthcare workers’ scores on pre-employment assessments with on-the-job performance on quality, service, and safety measures
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 the hospital and which would leave after six months.
It doesn’t take a crystal ball – just science.
Global leadership company DDI has released a new study, “Better Hires, Better Outcomes,” definitively demonstrating 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 health care 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
To learn more about how DDI’s healthcare solutions across the continuum of care, visit
About DDI
DDI is a global leadership company that helps organizations transform the way they hire, promote and develop leaders at every level. With more than 100 industrial-organizational psychologists on staff, DDI has dedicated itself to the science and practice of leadership since 1970. Clients include half of the Fortune 500 and multinationals in every industry across more than 90 countries. To find out more information about DDI’s leadership expertise, visit
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