“Generally speaking, staff satisfaction in our sector is bad,” says Rob Devitt, CEO of the Toronto East General Hospital. Speaking at a Longwood’s Breakfast with the Chiefs forum November 23rd, Devitt and Dr. Josh Tepper, Assistant Deputy Minister (HealthForce Ontario) were invited to address the issue of healthy work environments, from policy to practice.
While winning a Great Places To Work Award, Devitt said when comparing against bad it’s easy to look good. He said that when his hospital looked at leading private sector employers who had taken the award, they were shocked at how poorly they stacked up.
Devitt said while there isn’t always agreement, “organized labour has a lot of good ideas.”
The CEO highlighted the turnaround at his own hospital, including quarterly staff satisfaction surveys, conducting threat assessments, establishing an on-site gym and wellness center for staff, and developing a mental health wellness strategy.
Devitt says he is resisting every temptation to cut these programs in difficult economic times given the results, which include measured increases in productivity and reduced sickness and lost time.
“There’s such an important and wonderful focus on patient safety and quality of care,” Tepper told the forum. “I would argue the healthy work environment — the well-being of our front line care providers is the flip side of the same coin. You cannot truly have a quality agenda for patient-centered care without have a healthy work environment strategy.”
This forum is available on video at http://www.longwoods.com/audio-video