January 2016 Joint Statement Doctors Council SEIU & NYC H+H System-Wide Collaboration Council

On December 11, 2015, the second meeting of the System-Wide Collaboration Council met at Governeur Medical Center.  70 leaders from our health system continued to chart a new course of deep collaboration dedicated to creating the best patient experience for the community we are honored to serve.

In addition to union leadership there were 22 Doctors Council front line physicians as well as senior leadership from NYC H+H Central Office and facilities at the Executive Director and Chief Medical Officer level.  Dr. Laurence Rezkalla, Doctors Council member of the Council from Woodhull Medical Center, observed “Before we were two rivals, now we are united in one battle.” Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ross Wilson concluded his opening remarks at the meeting by saying, “the voice of the frontline has not been heard well enough”.

Dr. Laurence Rezkalla, Woodhull Medical Center

The work of the  Collaboration Councils is to create a venue and process through which senior management and frontline clinicians share their perspectives and work together in pursuit of our shared goals. The over-arching goal is to improve the experience of care for our patients. Our meeting on December 11th made  important progress in shaping the structure and process of the soon to be formed facility level Councils .

Among the important steps taken at this meeting included:

  • Council members were introduced to the art of interest based problem solving and consensus decision-making.  These two processes are designed work from a starting point of shared goals and values, discuss alternate paths to these goals, and come to a consensus that all parties can support as we move forward  in our work. This was welcomed by all as an important strategic step in creating a culture of collaboration and continuous learning with one another.
  • Council members shared their views on the first meeting of the Collaboration Council held on November 6, 2015.  There was broad agreement that the first meeting laid the groundwork for building trust and transparency in our work and collectively using the tools of group discussion, brainstorming, and joint problem-solving.
  • During the meeting, participants broke into six separate small groups to discuss the key elements that will enable success of the Facility Based Councils.  These discussions were highly animated and engaged.  The preliminary recommendations on how the Facility Based Collaboration Councils should function in order to create conditions for successful and sustainable improvement at the facility level included creating a safe space for candid dialogue, continuous joint learning on best methods and practice, administrative support for the work, mutual respect and commitment to improving the patient experience.
  • Our foundational message is:  our system is changing and we are creating a new way of working together

The outcomes and next steps from the December 11th meeting include:

  • All the comments from the six small group meetings on how best to establish effective Facility Based Councils will be circulated to all the Council members.  Membership of the Facility Based Councils will be identified.
  • The relevant members from each facility should meet together at their facility before the next system wide meeting on January 27 2016, to bring forward further comments on their proposed next steps and methods  of operation.

Dr. Steven Hahn of Jacobi Medical Center who co-chaired the Collaboration Council meeting on behalf of Doctors Council SEIU stated in the meeting,
“Our goal is to create a ‘we,’ unique from anything in the past. “

Dr. Steven Hahn, Jacobi Medical Center

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