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  • Quality Care: Employee Training

  • Rhode Island Hospital requires all staff to adhere to a culture of safety that permeates our organization and energizes and mobilizes our workforce to make patient safety the top priority for everyone who works for Rhode Island Hospital.

    The Lifespan Learning Institute, our corporate level organizational development and training entity, was charged by the chief quality officer on behalf of our board with developing a model and plan for a cultural transformation to support this initiative, according to three key elements:

    • an open atmosphere for reporting and addressing safety risks,
    • careful monitoring and timely re-design of internal patient care systems, and
    • commitment to the highest possible standards of personal and collective accountability, integrity, and professional behavior.

    We then looked at all the ways people practices can influence culture and focused on six major areas: selection and hiring, training, performance management, rewards and recognition, communication, change management, and creation of a safe, healthy and productive work environment for all of our employees. Next, we created a total of thirty-one projects nested within these six categories, each with a specific objective focused on changing an existing human resources (HR) policy, practice or program to fully support and foster our culture of safety model.

    Through our senior vice president of human resources we assigned specific human resources staff to each project and have subsequently held regular project update meetings to assess progress, assure cross functional collaboration, and sustain momentum.

    At this juncture, we at Rhode Island Hospital have not only been successful in launching and for the most part completing the thirty-one projects, we have also begun seeing substantive evidence that the culture is indeed changing.