Planning for success: West Ann Arbor engages employees in improvement efforts

July 17, 2019  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership,

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Performance measures are generally defined as a regular measurement of outcomes and results which generate reliable data on the effectiveness and efficiency of an organization. At Michigan Medicine, these measures also help ensure that the organization is meeting its strategic priorities, which help align actions to the Michigan Medicine mission, vision and values.

Some may believe that only leadership is invested in performance measurement — but that can’t be further from the truth.

“If employees take part in owning their employer’s performance, institutional success has a tendency to follow,” said Gloria Kastanis, senior administrative manager at West Ann Arbor-Parkland Plaza (WAA).

Recently, Kastanis and the WAA leadership team took that mentality to heart.

Striving for success

WAA is home to more than 20 adult and pediatric primary and specialty care services including lab, imaging and infusion services. Upon receiving WAA’s Fiscal Year 2020 Performance Measures — or goals for the upcoming year — from the U-M Medical Group (UMMG), WAA leadership and staff decided to take an active, collaborative approach to meet (and hopefully exceed) the standards.

So WAA held a job fair-type event to educate and engage its staff.

Setting up in the center’s shared lunch room, each of WAA’s performance measures, including patient satisfaction, access, financial stewardship and quality, were featured as part of a poster presentation. There was also a poster on diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Each poster was presented by a member of the center leadership team, who spoke with staff members about their poster’s performance measure.

“Our people are the catalyst for achieving West Ann Arbor’s goals,” said Kastanis. “This event was an opportunity to share the center’s objectives with our staff and allow them to choose a particular area of interest and provide us with some feedback. This level of engagement and support will help us become a better team and create a greater sense of organizational inclusion.”

Eric Mancini, a patient services associate at WAA, took part in the event and was inspired to join the center’s DEI Committee.

“One of the things I love most about working for Michigan Medicine is that I’ve always felt safe, respected and valued as a member of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Mancini. “There is currently very limited federal protection for people who face employment discrimination related to sexual orientation or gender identity, so it is up to individual workplaces to make employees who fall into this category feel protected. To see my clinic putting forth a genuine effort to increase initiatives surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion has made me very proud to be part of the team.”

During the poster presentations, staff were asked questions to help determine if additional education on WAA’s performance measures was needed, and they were encouraged to sign up for various committees representing each of the performance measures, allowing them to take an active role in the process moving forward.

More than 200 staff attended the luncheon, and as a follow up, WAA leadership is planning a session to provide interim data to staff in approximately six months.

“Because the committees are comprised of a diverse cross section of our employees, they will generate fresh ideas. It will be a fun experiment to see what we learn,” said Melissa Pynnonen, M.D., professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery.

Institutional performance: Everyone plays a role

West Ann Arbor’s process in engaging staff in performance measures is a great example of how collaboration at all levels can inspire employees to take positive steps in helping increase effectiveness and efficiency within Michigan Medicine.

Improving performance requires engagement, coordination and continuous process improvement from staff of all job types, and requires the coordinated efforts of staff at multiple levels in care.

“While successfully meeting performance measures improves the institution’s financial position, it’s a lot more important than that,” said Pynnonen. “In the end, patient care and employee engagement are also enhanced. And that helps everyone at Michigan Medicine.”