The Joint Commission Journal on Quality Improvement | VOL. 19
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Empowering Health Care Improvement: An Operational Model

Publication Date Jul 1, 1993

Abstract

The shift from compliance to continuous improvement requires a bridge--empowerment--that enables the creation of an environment in which employees can contribute the full range of their expertise in service to the organization. Leaders are responsible for creating this empowering environment. An operational model that describes the nine aspects of empowerment (for example, mission and values, access to information, avenues of influence) can serve as a template for leaders to use to promote an atmosphere of empowerment in their organizations. The authors adapted this model as a survey instrument to uncover some hospital success stories that demonstrate several aspects of empowerment in action. The survey was administered at two hospitals. CASE STUDY 1: At Beth Israel Hospital (Boston, Mass), Nutrition Services rated the "mission and vision" aspect of empowerment in their department at an average of 3.5 out of a possible 4.0. The department attributes this high rating to their focus on specific goals that reinforce the larger mission and vision of the hospital as a whole. These goals form the basis for annual employee evaluations. For example, a 1992 patient-focused goal was to provide nutrition counseling and education. The department approached this goal by developing a daily format ("Eat Smart") for the daily hospital cafeteria menu that provided nutritional information. The rationale was to educate employees, who could then bring back information to their patients. Alignment of the department's efforts with the larger miss...

Concepts

Aspect Of Empowerment Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Eat Smart Avenues Of Influence Beth Israel Hospital Tuition Reimbursement Environment Of Trust Empowerment In Action Operational Model Expertise In Service

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