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Microsystems in Health Care: Part 8. Developing People and Improving Work Life: What Front-Line Staff Told Us

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Abstract:

Background: The articles in the Microsystems in Health Care series have focused on the success characteristics of high-performing clinical microsystems. Realization is growing about the importance of attracting, selecting, developing, and engaging staff. By optimizing the work of all staff members and by promoting a culture where everyone matters, the microsystem can attain levels of performance not previously experienced.

Case Study: At Massachusetts General Hospital Downtown Associates (Boston), a primary care practice, the human resource processes are specified and predictable, from a candidate's initial contact through each staff member's orientation, performance management, and professional development. Early on, the new employee receives materials about the practice, including a practice overview, his or her typical responsibilities, the performance evaluation program, and continuous quality improvement. Ongoing training and education are supported with skill labs, special education nights, and cross-training. The performance evaluation program, used to evaluate the performance of all employees, is completed during the 90-day orientation and training, quarterly for one year, and annually.

Conclusion: Some health care settings enjoy high morale, high quality, and high productivity, but all too often this is not the case. The case study offers an example of a microsystem that has motivated its staff and created a positive and dynamic workplace.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15537250). For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit www.myelsevier.com for more information. All other readers, please visit http://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/ to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
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