Collaboration Councils Update August 2016

August Joint Meeting of System-Wide & Facility-Based Collaboration Councils Advances Goal of Improving Quality Care and the Patient Experience Through Increased Engagement Between Front-line Doctors and Administration:

Vital Importance of Collaboration Councils to Health + Hospitals Strategic Restructuring/Transformation Plan and Vision 2020 Noted

New York City Health + Hospitals President/CEO, Dr. Ram Raju, addresses the over 200 attendees at the Doctors Council SEIU and NYC Health + Hospitals Joint System-Wide and Facility-Based Collaboration Councils meeting of frontline doctors and administrators.

The staff of Baruch College had to wheel in more chairs for the overflow attendance at this first-ever joint meeting of executive leadership and Doctors Council members from all NYC Health + Hospitals facilities held in August. More than 200 doctor leaders came together to take stock and learn from one another at this most critical time in the history of public health in New York City.

While the attendees received passionate support from Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, Dr. Herminia Palacio and NYC Health + Hospitals President/CEO, Dr. Ram Raju, the centerpiece of the afternoon was reports from every Facility-Based Collaboration Councils (FBCCs) on their projects and progress to date.

Dr. Raju remarked: “The patient-doctor relationship is the key. All transformation must involve the doctors. We are moving in the right direction on patient experience. We can and must make progress in this measure so that we can get the market share and make the finances work. We take care of the most complex patients with limited resources. We are unique and special. We can combine social justice and health care. We solve social problems as we work.”

(Above) Deputy Mayor of Health & Human Services, Dr. Herminia Palacio, addressing the meeting of doctors and administrators.

Dr. Herminia Palacio, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services who grew up in the Bronx and trained at Elmhurst, thanked all participants for their dedication to the improvement journey we are all on. She said,


“To see this partnership between the Union and management to focus on the quality of the relationship between doctors and patients is what is necessary to achieve the transformation underway to achieve financial stability, transform quality, and eliminate inequity. We cannot be successful without the types of partnerships in this room.”

(Above) Frank Proscia, M.D., President of Doctors Council, addressing the meeting and noting how Doctors Council works with NYC H+H on the Collaboration Councils, as well as in many other ways, such as advocating for more funding from the federal, state and city governments.

Dr. Frank Proscia, Doctors Council President noted “Our members are mission driven.  We must evolve and we must transform.  Funding is drying up from federal and state levels.  Safety nets are the greatest battle.  Today’s funding is tied directly to clinical outcomes including patient experience scores.  The ACA is a positive improvement and it gives our patients the right to take their portable coverage and go anywhere.  We must garner more patients. We must improve quality of care and the perception of that care.”

The journey that began in just February of this year has shown that doctor engagement is increasing through the patient-centered focus of each of our Collaboration Councils.  Active participants in Collaboration Councils from across the system learned from one another how each facility is developing their improvement projects which are designed to improve the experience of our patients.

Each project was presented in a consistent format framed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Model of Improvement which asks three foundational questions:

  • AIM | What are we trying to accomplish?
  • MEASURES | How will we know a change is an improvement?
  • CHANGE | What change can we make that will result in an improvement?

All of our Councils are using this approach and the learning tools from IHI which foster collaborative reflection on relevant data, collaborative brainstorming, collaborative decision-making, and collaborative execution.

(Above) Joint frontline provider and administrator teams from all Health + Hospitals patient care sites, including hospitals, community based health centers and skilled nursing homes presented the progress being made on their first projects during the meeting. Here, the NYC H+H/ Bellevue Hospital FBCC team was represented by (L to R) Dr. Nate Link, CMO and Doctors Council members Drs. Caralee Caplan-Shaw and Sarah Williams (speaking at podium).

Facility Based Collaboration Councils proudly reported on improvement projects which include, by way of example:

  • Reduce waiting times
  • Reduce errors in paperwork which delays transport
  • Reduce cycle time
  • Improved communication between doctor and patient and patient family
  • Enhance health literacy of patients
  • Improving the time from decision to admit  in the ER to placement in hospital bed

All of these projects and many that are similar have clear data-driven goals within the framework of our Press Ganey scores.  However, most all of the projects have established facility-based metrics which are designed to assist the Councils in seeing results quickly so as to be able to expand success.  The expectation is that these changes will impact improvement in our publicly reported scores in patient satisfaction.

Another very significant part of each Facility-Based reports indicated that a new culture of collaboration is developing.  Doctors Council SEIU 2nd Vice-President Dr. Acyan Turkmen remarked that, “Culture trumps strategy…and we are building a culture of joint responsibility, joint learning, and joint planning.  In so doing, we will see the culture emerge that will accelerate improvement. “

Dr. Turkmen’s remarks were echoed later by our guest keynote speaker Dr. Jack Cochran, former Executive Director of the Permanente Federation, former President and Executive Medical Director of the Permanente Federation in the Colorado region of Kaiser Permanente, and  author of the book  The Doctor Crisis:  How Physicians Can, and Must , Lead the Way to Better Health  Care.  Dr. Cochran spoke about how to transform a large health care system and the leadership role doctors have and stated, “we can’t treat our way out of the crisis; we can’t grow our way out of the crisis:  we have to learn our way out of the crisis.”

Dr. Jack Cochran, former Executive Director of the Kaiser Permanente Federation, delivers a keynote address before the joint SWCC and FBCCs, discussing the importance of doctors leading the way for organizational change.

Attendees left the meeting excited that the Facility-Based Collaboration Councils (FBCCs) are starting projects to improve quality care and the patient experience through increased engagement between frontline doctors and administration. We know that this work is vitally important to H+H’s strategic restructuring/transformation plan and Vision 2020. The FBCCs meet monthly and are comprised of one Doctors Council member from each department and administration leadership, such as the CEO, CMO, COO, CFO and others.

To read the reports and learn about the projects of each FBCC and for a list of Doctors Council members and H+H administration on the System-Wide CC and each Facility-Based CC, click here.

Have ideas or suggestions for a project in your department or for your facility? Want more information on or to be involved in the Collaboration Councils?

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