Law & Governance

Law & Governance 14(3) August 2010
Invited Essay

Using Common Work Environment Metrics to Improve Performance in Healthcare Organizations

Graham Lowe and Ben Chan

[This article was originally published in Healthcare Policy  6(1).]

This article proposes a comprehensive framework for assessing, reporting and improving the quality of work environments in healthcare organizations across Canada. Healthy work environments (HWEs) contribute to positive outcomes for healthcare employees and physicians. The same HWE ingredients also can reduce operating costs, improve human resources utilization and ultimately lead to higher-quality patient care. We show how health system employers, governments, quality agencies and other stakeholders can implement effective HWE metrics. The common reporting framework and metrics we propose enable managers and policy makers to use HWE ingredients as levers to improve organizational performance. Progress requires the active involvement of stakeholders in developing common metrics, the integration of these metrics into existing measurement and reporting systems, the building in of managerial accountability for work environment quality and support for ongoing improvements at the front lines of care and service delivery.

 

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