This Week Health 5 Years

Nurses are striking in NY. How does a health IT organization handle this.

Transcript

Today in health, it, we are gonna talk about handling a strike. We're not going to talk about the strike per se, but we're gonna talk about handling a strike. Actually, we will talk about the strike. And then how a health care organization can deal with it. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system.

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health.com/. Sponsors. There you go. All right, where can I go for this? I'm going to go to Becker's. I'm going to go to the Becker's story on the nurse. Strike, give you a little background on this. So nurses strike at two New York city hospitals members of the New York state nurses association went on strike January 9th.

At two New York city hospitals, Mount Sinai and Montefiore. , the union represents 7,000 nurses who are striking for fair contracts that improve patient care. According to the news release hospitals have moved patients and implemented other contingency plans. To prepare for the strike. Again, I'm going to talk about handling a strike, but probably not for them. They're already well underway in this process, but this will not be the last strike of the year.

, given some of the unrest that's going on. , union members delivered 10 day strike notice December 30th, a and it goes on as of January 6th, tentative agreements had been reached on behalf of 4,000 nurses. So that's why that number is less than the 10,000. , let's see. Let's see if we could figure out what their.

Striking about, so governor Hoeckel. I should listen to frontline. COVID nurse heroes and respect are federally protected labor and collective bargaining rights. A union statement said, nurses don't want to strike. Bosses have pushed us to strike by refusing to seriously consider our proposals to address the desperate crisis of unsafe staffing that harms our patients. All right. So that's the positioning.

A strike plans. , com amid negotiations for new contracts during negotiations, nurses have expressed concerns about staffing levels. And contend that hospitals are not doing enough to keep workers at the bedside. In terms of issues such as staffing pay and benefits hospitals say they have been negotiating in good faith to reach a fair contract.

, Let's skip that. , and the statement of Mount Sinai expressed disappointment. About the union rejecting the governor's request and contends that the union refused to accept the exact same 19.1% increase in wages offered, agreed to by eight other hospitals, including two other Mount Sinai health system campuses.

Our first priority is the safety of our patients. The statement read we're prepared to minimize disruption and we encourage Mount Sinai nurses to continue providing world-class care. They're known for it in spite of the strike. , some other statements. All right. So that's the positioning again, I'm not going to comment on the, of the strike. They will all be positioned as a, in the best interest of the patients.

And hopefully that's what it's about, but I think we have a challenge. We have a challenge getting enough nurses. So the schedules are very taxing. I mean, we've talked about this odd several episodes, very taxing, very difficult time coming through the pandemic. , nurses face, , situations where they could be, , treated poorly in the ER and whatnot. And we've talked about that and how that is a leadership problem.

That the leadership needs to get ahead of, we talked about a couple of health systems that have put together rules that essentially say, this is how patients. This is the line that patients can't cross. And if they do cross that line, They will be patched up like a mash unit and sent out. All right. So that's, that's the, the general, , background of the story.

Strikes happen. We were a 16 hospital system, California and Texas. We had of the 16 hospitals, maybe three. I think we're covered. By unions and not in their entirety, partial that one was in its entirety. Others were partially. And we had, I think we face at least one strike while I was there. Maybe two.

And, , the situation. Is one that requires it. To really get ahead of the curve. Think about this. I mean, you're essentially going to be onboarding a lot of staff very quickly. A lot of contract staff, you're going to be transferring patients and doing a lot of things to make sure that the patients get the best care they possibly can get or need to get. Right.

And so one of the first things you have to have is a great identity management system that you're going to be able to turn on and off accounts very quickly. When I got to St. Joseph health, it used to take us. , about 10. Days to turn on an account correctly. Now. Oui oui. Lots of reasons for that lots of legacy, lots of other reasons for that. Hopefully we've gotten beyond that.

If you're in that category, you have to start planning way ahead of time for something like this. Now where we got to towards the end of my tenure was closer to a 24 to 48 hour turnaround for new account creation. So we were able to turn on a new nurse with the right. Credentials and the right security mechanisms and privacy mechanisms in place.

Pretty quickly, we were able to ramp up machines. If machines were needed, we were able to, , turn off accounts for those who were striking and who weren't coming in. On the off chance that there was going to be an issue there. So we had to turn those accounts off, by the way, our strikes didn't last, all that long.

And so, because our strikes didn't last, all that long, we had to turn all those accounts right back on. As well. So, , so again, a lot, a lot of things having to do with turning things on turning things off. , you also have a training challenge. Now, hopefully you're bringing on, , nurses that have worked at your hospital before you're going to have, you still have to provide care. People are still gonna come in. You're still serving your geographies. In the case of our strike, we were.

The primary hospital in that market. And so people were still coming, even though there was a strike going on. And so we were hiring people. We had a training challenges. We had to keep people up to speed. We had to train new people on our EHR. As rapidly as we possibly could. Right. So you had a, a significant amount of things that we had to take into account and bring you people.

, up on the system and turning accounts off on the system and training. Those users. So from an it perspective, You have to, , have those systems in place. And again, this isn't a conversation for these systems that are going through this right now. This is a conversation for those of you who have unions.

, and who have the potential for a worker or work stop at just some kind or workers walking out. And I would say given the current environment, given the staffing shortages, given the, , coming through the pandemic, There's a better than average chance that we will see a couple more of these strikes.

And so you're going to want to get ahead of those processes. Again, your identity system, your, , account provisioning system, your training, and bringing up the people up to speed. All of those things become incredibly critical when you are facing this kind of situation. So, , hopefully they can come to terms soon, but even more important than that, hopefully they can come up with a situation that provides the best care.

For the patients in those communities. , and the best environment for the clinical workers. Who are striving to provide the best care they possibly can. All right. That's all for today. If you know of someone that can benefit from our channel, please, for them to note in fact right now, shoot them an email.

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