The Science Journal of the American Association for Respiratory Care

2010 OPEN FORUM Abstracts

IMPROVING EMPLOYEE OPINION THROUGH A PARTNERSHIP WITH LEADERSHIP.

Richard M. Ford, Gina Giles-Oas, Herb French; Respiratory Care, University of California San Diego Medical Center, San Diego, CA

Background: It is vital the Respiratory Care workforce is engaged and department leadership effectively communicates to make meaningful change. Realizing opportunities for improvement, we created the Partners in Leadership (PL) program to better facilitate an exchange of ideas and promote participation in decision making. Through this program we aimed to improve staffs perception of the workplace and leadership. Method: A hospital-wide employee opinion survey was conducted in July 2008 in which engagement and communication were identified as needing improvement. Based on many principles of the Nursing Magnet Program, we created PL. The program requires each member of RC leadership select no less than one staff member as a partner with the objective they communicate important issues, exchange ideas, and involve the partner in decision making. The PL group, consisting of RC leaders and their partners, attend quarterly meetings in which staff recommendations are submitted in advance via the PL website. At the PL meeting recommendations are introduced by the author, discussed, and a decision made to implement, disapprove, or defer. In all decisions the staff partner has an equal vote as their associate leader. One year after implementing the PL program RC staff was re-surveyed and results compared. Results: Eight PL meetings have been held since inception with review of over forty-eight issues. We created a PL website tool inclusive of a discussion board, staff recommendations, reference materials and meeting minutes. The employee opinion survey one year after implementation of PL yielded improved results. Conclusion: Through this program we created a structure that is open to all staff and creates a formal mechanism to get ideas introduced and allows them equal status in making decisions. The program has helped improve employee opinion and staff support of change. Sponsored Research - None Employee Opinion Scores