Labor Management Project staff recently attended two inspirational meetings with other health care providers, organizers and researchers. Here are the highlights.
Improving Hospital Care Quality through Labor-Management Collaboration
LMP participants and staff were an important part of the SEIU Healthcare Hospital Quality Initiative National Collaborative Meeting, held in Chicago on October 2 and 3, which created an exciting space for SEIU locals from around the country to discuss how they are partnering with their employers to enhance care quality in hospitals. Meeting participants helped build a national network of support for this critical work while engaging in strategic discussion, sharing best practices and lessons learned about how to implement successful initiatives and strengthen labor-management partnerships.
The packed agenda began with a powerful keynote address by Dr. Ronald Wyatt M.D., Medical Director in Healthcare Improvement at the Joint Commission, who spoke of the inherent inequities in the U.S. healthcare system. At the poster session, Dr. Chris Pernell and Kemmely Mondell of the LMP’s Workplace and Community Health Program provided information and answered questions about the program’s newest project, a diabetes prevention program that was recently launched at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Hospital in Manhattan.
LMP staff also delivered workshops. Senior Research Manager Marcia Mayfield helped lead a session on how to find quality data that helps identify opportunities for partnership. LMP Director Susan Wasstrom co-led a workshop on cultivating the employer relationship and involving members in quality improvement projects. Clyde Riggins, assistant director for health systems, and Bernadette Braddy, assistant director for the Registered Nurse Labor Management Initiatives, ran a workshop on how to sustain and expand labor-management initiatives.
Participants received copies of the SEIU publication Improving Care, Lowering Costs – How Front-Line Hospital Workers are Transforming Healthcare, which highlights collaborative work across the country—including Mt. Sinai Queens Hospital, a partner of the LMP. As outlined in the report, a Mt. Sinai Queens labor-management initiative successfully reduced the wait time for test results and improved Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores.
Building Healthy Communities through Relational Coordination
Co-hosted by the Labor Management Project, the fifth annual Relational Coordination Research Consortium Roundtable met on October 15 and 16 to discuss the relational elements required to build healthy communities. The roundtable brings together researchers and practitioners to explore various aspects of relational coordination, or the coordination of work through shared goals, shared knowledge and mutual respect. It is organized under the auspices of the Relational Coordination Research Collaborative, which is led by Dr. Jody Hoffer Gittell of Brandeis University’s Heller School for Social Policy and Management.
This year’s roundtable was attended by participants from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Australia, China, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Canada and 11 American states, hailing from universities, healthcare systems, labor unions, social movements, public schools, and human service agencies. Lively discussions during breakout sessions focused on an array of approaches and challenges, including forging connections across race, gender and professional boundaries; labor-management partnerships; and transforming primary and community-based care with relational coordination. One participant described the meeting as “informative, thought-provoking and motivational.”
As Dr. Gittell reflected in a post on the RCC blog: “The table was beautifully set by opening panelists Tom D’Aunno (New York University Wagner School), Debbie Friedman (NYC Mayor’s Office of Workforce Engagement), Barry Zuckerman (Boston University/Boston Medical Center) and Jenifer Clapp (NYC Department of Health) sharing stories of social entrepreneurs in many sectors who are going beyond the traditional reactive model of healthcare to tackle the underlying social determinants of health. Next day CEO Kathy Ruscitto of St. Joseph’s Health System shared work she and colleagues are doing to engage across internal professional divides and with their local neighborhood to drive positive outcomes for all stakeholders. Many of us were deeply impressed by her vision, her servant leadership and her social entrepreneurship.”
The event was also co-hosted by New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations