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New Study Shows Labor-Management Partnerships Improve Patient Care

Patient care improves and costs come down as a result of labor and management partnerships, according to a new Cornell University study.

The report, “How Labor-Management Partnerships Improve Patient Care, Control Costs, and Labor Relations,” profiles joint work involving front-line staff, unions and management at Kaiser Permanente’s San Rafael and San Diego medical centers in California, Fletcher Allen Health Care in Vermont and the Contact Center at Montefiore Medical Center’s Care Management Corporation (CMO) in New York.

At the four facilities studied, joint labor-management activities have resulted in:

  • Improved turnaround time for test results
  • Increased awareness about workplace safety
  • Improved patient satisfaction scores
  • Quicker access to home care services
  • Less staff turnover

Peter Lazes, director of Cornell’s Healthcare Transformation Project says:

Reforming our health care system to be accessible and provide high-quality services has been at the core of many recent national and state initiatives. This report provides a roadmap for how to structure union-management partnerships in a healthcare setting. These activities, encouraged by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s initiative Partnership for Patients to Improve Care and Lower Costs for Americans, are, in fact, making a difference.

The report was prepared by the Healthcare Transformation Project at Cornell University’s Industrial and Labor Relations (ILR) School. Click here for the executive summary. The full report will be available online Feb. 21.


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