We’ve been blogging over the last few weeks about healthcare and the need for employee engagement. This week we offer an actual example of employee engagement in healthcare.
Kaiser Permanente and its front line employees, managers and physicians have been working together for a number of years on improvements in healthcare. Whether it’s in Maryland, Hawaii, Georgia or California, these employees have been working together to address some tough healthcare issues. One of the Mid-Atlantic teams recently worked on a security issue to help protect health records. Another team helped their patients to learn more about the deductibles on their insurance plans. In California, a team has been helping a group of their patients do a better job of controlling their high blood pressure. All of these are just some of the issues the teams at Kaiser Permanente have addressed.
There are so many more – reducing costs, improving procedures, improving the safety and quality of healthcare are all issues employees and employers, labor unions and management can address together. Does the process work? It sounds like it. Cornell University’s Industrial Labor Relations School thinks it does and both labor and management at Kaiser think so, too. Both say there have been positive outcomes and results for both employees and patients. Not only have there been improvements in quality of healthcare but the improvement in culture has made Kaiser Permanente one of the best places to work in the country. In addition, the labor-management partnership is a model for ALL labor-management partnerships not just those in healthcare. You can read about it on this link: http://share.kaiserpermanente.org/article/kaiser-permanente-a-model-for-labor-management-partnership-cornell-study-reports/
One of the things we have stressed to groups we have worked with and we’ve written on these blogs is the need for commitment. It sounds like both union and management at Kaiser Permanente have made a commitment to working together to improve healthcare. For those of you in non-unionized environments, the process can work and commitment to the process is also important. It does save money and it does provide better quality of health to patients. Employee engagement in healthcare is worth doing.
If you would like to read more about Kaiser Permanente’s teams and the projects they’ve worked on, visit their website: http://www.lmpartnership.org/home
Don’t forget to visit the CALMC Facebook page. We’ve started something new. Each week, or as often as we can, we’ll add a tip for teams and groups to help them with their process. We also ask for any comments and questions.