An alignment of cultures
Date: February 9, 2012
In the past several years, endeavors to create a common workplace culture within the Johns Hopkins University Clinical Practice Association (CPA) have made impressive strides, say those behind the effort. “These initiatives have already started establishing consistent expectations and performance levels,” says Donna Gavin, neurosciences administrator at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and co-chair of the CPA Staffing Task Force with Steven Mantegna, compensation manager at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Under the revised management structure, all employees involved in direct patient care will be held to the same standards for performance and attendance, requiring university personnel to adopt new work rules, training methods and baselines for service excellence.
To instill the principles of customer-centered practices across the CPA, Clinical Operations (CO) group members are required to attend service excellence workshops, taught by an outside consultant group. The two-hour interactive training sessions highlight strategies for meeting patients’ needs, earning their trust, taking accountability for problems and rectifying bad experiences.
As of early January, 50 percent of the 2,000-member CO group completed the training, according to a recent attendance log. Several additional workshops will take place early this year. Not only are the workshops mandatory, they are vital to a successful career at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Under new work rules—spelled out in a service excellence guide—customer care now accounts for 30 percent of each CO employee’s performance review.
The service excellence workshops are in addition to the Language of Caring program, a Hopkins Hospital-wide initiative to strengthen the ability of staff and clinicians to communicate with patients.
Other staffing initiative elements, including a program to introduce nearly 400 managers to the revised performance standards, are nearing completion. The new work rules, which align with health system policies, have also been approved.
In addition to completing the university’s online orientation program, new non-faculty hires now sit side by side Johns Hopkins Health System colleagues during selected orientation presentations at Hopkins Hospital and Hopkins Bayview. And like their hospital counterparts, university staff is required to attend orientation on the first day of employment so they know what’s expected of them in their new workplace.
To maintain the momentum of the transition, CPA task force members are exploring strategies such as information sessions with a manager/champion whose office has successfully met the new performance standards. Still to be finalized is a disciplinary work rule which will hold CO group members and health system colleagues equally accountable. The task force is also considering an expansion of work rules to include consistent attendance policies for snow days and other inclement weather.
Future plans will include all CO employees swiping in to work using Kronos, the electronic time-keeping system currently used by Hopkins