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Innovative Approaches to Transforming US Healthcare

On February 27, roughly 30 Cornell alumni and healthcare industry practitioners gathered for presentations on Innovative Approaches to Transforming US Healthcare at the Cornell Club in Manhattan with Cornell alumni who are working to transform the healthcare delivery system in the United States.The speakers were: Hilary Corrigan, BS ILR '05, Contract Organizer – Committee of Interns and Residents; Dr. Farbod Raiszadeh, MD, PhD HumEc '06, Cardiologist and former President – Committee of Interns and Residents; Dr. Michael Kantrowitz, DO, BS HumEc '05, Fellow, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety – Maimonides Medical Center; and Irene Kaufmann, Sr. Associate Executive Director, Strategic Priorities and Partnerships – Queens Health Network.

In the clip below, our speakers discuss the importance of engaging frontline staff in delivery system improvement and how QI work appeals to the core values of physicians:

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Innovative Approaches to Transforming US Healthcare


Using labor-management partnerships and new organizational models, Cornell University's Healthcare Transformation Project and Cornell alumni have developed innovative ways to enhance the quality of and access to care, increase patient engagement and reduce costs. Each of the presenters discussed their work within the NYC area hospital system and engaging frontline staff in quality improvement efforts. Some key takeaways and interesting statistics shared were:

  • 10% of 130,000 US interns and residents are unionized in the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), but there is a lack of resources for quality improvement (QI) training. CIR has recognized this need and has begun developing programs for interns and residents to become more educated in QI.
  • At Maimonides Medical Center, CIR was able to initiate quality improvement through bonus incentives based on patient care metrics. Roughly 100 residents received training on medication reconciliation to improve accuracy from 57% to 89%.
  • The passage of the Patient Protection and  Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as ACA) and the implementation of new standards from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have made it imperative to develop transformative processes that accelerate the coordination of care, increase patient engagement and reduce costs. However, the key to improving patient safety, Dr. Kantrowitz shared, was "making the right thing the easiest" for frontline staff.
  • Health and Hospitals Corporation in NYC provides care to over one million patients per year and 50% of them are uninsured, which means that the need for efficient systems that can save costs is critical to the system.
  • Dr.Don Berwick, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) once said, "every system is perfectly designed to achieve exactly the results it gets," and if it doesn't get the appropriate results, Ms. Kaufmann said, the system needs to change. Given that Americans continue to experience low quality of care despite spending two and half times more than other peer industrialized countries on healthcare, there is something wrong with our system. One way that HHC has begun to address system changes and integration is through, training, education, and coaching. In the moment coaching, Ms. Kaufmann explained, is critical to ensuring that staff not only have understood the process but is applying what they've learned.
  • The phrase often attributed to Peter Drucker, "culture eats strategy" is applicable in healthcare and so, in order to effect change across an organizational, getting buy-in from the frontline is critical.

This event was co-sponsored by Cornell ILR School's Healthcare Transformation Project and the Institute for Workplace Studies.

Keywords: CIR, HHC, alumni

Posted on: March 7, 2014

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