Cornell University

February 16 2012

Improving Patient Care

Labor-management partnerships also control costs, report says

Labor and management partnerships are having an impact on improving patient care and controlling costs, according to a report by ILR's Healthcare Transformation Project.

The report profiles joint work involving front-line staff, unions and management at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Vermont, Kaiser Permanente's San Rafael and San Diego medical centers in California, and the Contact Center at Montefiore Medical Center’s Care Management Corporation (CMO) in New York City.

Advances cited in the report, "How Labor-Management Partnerships Improve Patient Care, Control Costs, and Labor Relations," include:

  • Improved turnaround time for test results
  • Increased awareness about workplace safety
  • Improved patient satisfaction scores
  • Quicker access to home care services
  • Decreased staff turnover

"Reforming our health care system to be accessible and provide high-quality services has been at the core of national and state initiatives," said Peter Lazes, director of ILR's Healthcare Transformation Project.

"This report provides a roadmap for how to structure union-management partnerships in a health care setting," he said.

"These activities, encouraged by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's initiative Partnership for Patients to Improve Care and Lower Costs for Americans, are, in fact, making a difference," Lazes said.

More information about the report (pdf), the executive summary (pdf) and the Healthcare Transformation Project is available through Lazes at pml5@cornell.edu and at http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/healthcare/.