Doctors Council Collaboration Council Primer

A Primer on the “Collaboration Councils” in our new Collective Bargaining Agreement

By a major collective effort through our Union, we have been able to establish a new and lasting opportunity to achieve groundbreaking improvement for our patients and our profession:  The establishment of our Collaboration Councils across HHC.

How did we get here?

At the urging of our members, our Union successfully negotiated into our new collective bargaining agreement a unique and unprecedented opportunity for frontline clinicians to become active partners in the improvement of health care for our patients and our community.  Now the process begins to make these Councils come alive and succeed.

If the HHC system is going to survive and thrive, it will need our direct involvement and a high level of engagement and buy-in to new systems of improvement for our patients.  There will not be improved patient satisfaction without improved provider satisfaction!

Based on extensive surveys undertaken in the Fall of 2013 and into the Spring of 2014, 98% of our members believe that engaging in quality improvement process should be a priority for our Union.  The surveys also told us that at least 50% of our colleagues stated that their experience with quality improvement projects had “not been rewarding at all.”

Based on these surveys, our Union wrote and widely circulated a White Paper which is a Call to Action for frontline clinician integration into a truly joint quality improvement strategy, to actualize the vision of our members’ demand for an equal voice in quality. Because of the strength of Doctors Council’s political action, we were able to present the findings of our surveys and our White Paper to the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services.  Our political action was further instrumental in settling our contract which includes the attainment of the Collaboration Councils.

Now these efforts have resulted in formal agreements with HHC to take joint action on behalf of our patients, our communities, and ourselves.

What are the Collaboration Councils?

  • There will be established a first ever System-wide Joint Steering Committee.  It will be composed of one Doctors Council member representative from each of 21 facilities in the HHC system and top HHC management, including the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Operating Officer, the SVP of Affiliations, the Chief Quality Improvement Officer, and the Chief Financial Officer.   The role of the Joint Steering Committee will be to oversee the successful implementation of facility-based high priority quality joint patient care improvement initiatives that are designed to attain strategic and sustainable improvements in the delivery of health care to our patients.  It is our hope to convene the first meeting in November, 2015.
  • Three months after the System-Wide Joint Steering Committee has been meeting, there also will be established Facility-based joint committees at each of 21 facilities in HHC.* The facility based committees will be composed of one Doctors Council member from each department, as well as management representatives similar to those on the Steering Committee from the respective facility (COO, CMO, CFO, QIO). These committees will convene 90 days after the first Steering Committee meeting.
  • Doctors Council will be recruiting for both the System Wide Joint Steering Committee and the Facility-based committees concurrently so as to establish unity of involvement and purpose across the system.

The Scope of the Collaboration Councils is broad:  they are designed to create effective sponsorship and effective environments in the following areas:

  • Improved overall patient experience
  • Improved clinician engagement
  • Improved access to HHC services
  • Improved care coordination, prevention, patient education, and communication
  • Improved clinician recruitment and retention
  • Improved stewardship of HHC resources
  • Improved development and use of “metrics that matter”
  • Improved communication, education, and training of clinicians

Enablement of success will be achieved by:

  • Joint development of “demonstration projects” as learning laboratories
  • Creation of safe environments for learning and problem-solving
  • Development of educational programs to enhance knowledge and engagement of clinicians, paying close attention to the changing healthcare landscape, healthcare reform,  business literacy, and quality measures

Through the implementation of these Collaboration Councils we begin a new era for Doctors Council SEIU.  Our Union must transform as healthcare transforms…enabling our voices as leaders in quality improvement!

*List of HHC Facilities involved in Collaboration Councils

Bellevue Hospital

Belvis D&TC

Coler Specialty Hospital

Coney Island Hospital

Cumberland D&TC

Dr. Susan Smith McKinney Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

East NY D&TC

Elmhurst Hospital

Harlem Hospital

Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital

Governeur D&TC

Jacobi Medical Center

Kings County Hospital

Lincoln Hospital

Metropolitan Hospital

Morrisania D&TC

North Central Bronx Hospital

Queens Hospital

Renaissance Health Network D&TC

Seaview Hospital

Woodhull Hospital

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