Cornell University

February 6 2012

Improving Care, Reducing Costs

Reforms tracked by ILR's Healthcare Transformation Project

Labor and management partnerships are improving patient care and controlling costs, according to an upcoming 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.

Advances documented 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 the Healthcare Transformation Project.

"The union-management partnerships cited in our report provide evidence that these activities, when well structured, improve patient care and reduce costs," he said in an interview.

"These activities, encouraged by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's Partnership for Patients initiative to improve care and lower costs for Americans, are, in fact, making a difference," Lazes said.

The report is slated to be posted Feb. 15 at the HealthCare Transformation Project’s website, http://www.ilr.cornell.edu/healthcare/.