Collaboration Councils Being Implemented– Groundbreaking Initiative Underway; Training with IHI to Occur

Doctors Council SEIU is excited to announce the implementation of the Collaboration Councils, which puts into practice the vision of our White Paper “Putting Patients First Through Doctor, Patient and Community Engagement: A Call to Action from Doctors Council SEIU to the Mayor and the Leadership of HHC.”  We believe this will lead to improvements for patients, doctors and HHC.

Participation in the Collaboration Councils is open to all Doctors Council members who work in HHC facilities, whether as an HHC or affiliate (Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NYU or PAGNY) doctor, including Rikers.  Application materials have been e-mailed as well as mailed to homes and are due by September 30th.  Although we will be explaining the Collaboration Councils in greater detail at membership meetings in September, so you can learn more about them we have created a Primer on the Collaboration Councils which can be viewed on our Doctors Council website by clicking on this link.

The first meeting of the System-wide Committee will occur on Friday, November 6.  The first meeting of the Facility-based Committees should occur in February.

Training with IHI

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), a leading innovator, partner and driver of results in health and health care improvement worldwide, is providing a 3-day training (November 4,5, and 6) onImprovement Science in Action to be held in New York City for doctors who will be on the System-wide Committee.  This intensive professional development program is designed for people involved in health care improvement projects and provides grounding in the concepts, tools, and methods needed to effectively drive improvement initiatives. As a result of this program, participants will be better able to plan and execute improvement projects and utilize the Model for Improvement to develop, test, and sustain reliable improvements.

We have also been able to enter into an agreement with IHI to utilize the IHI Open School, which is an  inter-professional educational community that gives professionals the skills they need to become change agents in health care improvement and offers online courses written by world-renowned faculty, including case studies, podcasts, videos, and featured articles along with numerous online resources.  This will be available for doctors who will be on the Facility-based Committees.

“The Collaboration Councils are a ground breaking initiative. The planned live IHI training for Doctors Council representatives on the System-wide Council and access to the IHI Open School for Facility-based Council representatives offer a tremendous opportunity to grow our skills and competence in health improvement. It will enhance our ability to communicate our perspective and make our voices heard as we work together with HHC to transform the quality of the care we provide and improve the patient and provider experience.” –Dr. Steven Hahn, Jacobi Medical Center

Getting to this Point

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.  At the urging of our members, our Union successfully negotiated into our new collective bargaining agreements 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.

“Getting the Collaboration Councils written into our contract was the highest priority we had in our most recent negotiations.This is important for us as doctors and for our patients. That is why we made it the central part of our Respect Campaign. Doctors were active in the efforts to getting the Collaboration Councils not only through bargaining, but also through our mobilization actions, and community and political work.” — Dr. Aycan Turkmen, Coney Island Hospital

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.

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!

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