Sloan Conference Panels
Panel I: Managing Human Capital for High Performance Health Care
Symposia Overview: Evidence-based medicine and quality improvement initiatives often focus on the process of work or care with little thought to human capital, namely education, experience, and skills of the workforce and management. Human capital is often assumed in efforts to deliver person-centered care, improve patient safety, or enhance teamwork. However, as the papers in this panel argue, human capital should neither be taken for granted nor ignored in healthcare performance improvement efforts and must be carefully managed. Examining leadership and management, teamwork, and care processes, the papers in the panel point to the factors related to employment strategies and employee selection, supervision, and turnover that shape hospitals’ human resources and their capacity to deliver quality outcomes and improve performance.
Panel II: Organizational Change and Engagement of Front-line Workers in Health Care
Symposia Overview: Whether presenting barriers to change or acting as change agents, frontline workers play a critical role in the success of organizational change, quality improvement efforts, and interventions. In health care, research consistently notes the importance of creating and sustaining appropriate front-line staff engagement as a critical activity for improving patient care. The papers in this panel examine the role of front-line workers in organizational change in health care, using examples from nursing home culture change, the adoption of information technology for delivery of mental health care, and quality and safety improvement initiatives in hospitals. Recurrent themes are the importance of employee voice, participation in decision-making, and access to critical information. These papers explore mechanisms, including the role of unions, for meaningfully engaging front-line employees to achieve change in healthcare institutions.