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The COVID-19 pandemic stressed the health care sector's longstanding pain points, including the poor quality of frontline work and the staffing challenges that result from…
The COVID-19 pandemic stressed the health care sector's longstanding pain points, including the poor quality of frontline work and the staffing challenges that result from it. This has renewed interest in technology-centered approaches to achieving not only the “Triple Aim” of reducing costs while raising access and quality but also the “Quadruple Aim” of doing so without further squeezing wages and abrading job quality for frontline workers.
How can we leverage technology toward the achievement of the Quadruple Aim? I view this as a “grand challenge” for health care managers and policymakers. Those looking for guidance will find that most analyses of the workforce impact of technological change consider broad classes of technology such as computers or robots outside of any particular industry context. Further, they typically predict changes in work or labor market outcomes will come about at some ill-defined point in the medium to long run. This decontextualization and detemporization proves markedly problematic in the health care sector: the nonmarket, institutional factors driving technology adoption and implementation loom especially large in frontline care delivery, and managers and policymakers understandably must consider a well-defined, near-term, i.e., 5–10-year, time horizon.
This study is predicated on interviews with hospital and home health agency administrators, union representatives, health care information technology (IT) experts and consultants, and technology developers. I detail the near-term drivers and anticipated workforce impact of technological changes in frontline care delivery. With my emergent prescriptions for managers and policymakers, I hope to guide sectoral actors in using technology to address the “grand challenge” inherent to achieving the Quadruple Aim.
Although many employers continue to adopt various forms of worker participation or employee involvement, expected positive gains often fail to materialize. One explanation…
Although many employers continue to adopt various forms of worker participation or employee involvement, expected positive gains often fail to materialize. One explanation for the weak or altogether missing performance effects is that researchers rely on frameworks that focus almost exclusively on contingencies related to the workers themselves or to the set of tasks subject to participatory processes. This study is premised on the notion that a broader examination of the employment relationship within which a worker participation program is embedded reveals a wider array of factors impinging upon its success. I integrate labor relations theory into existing insights from the strategic human resource management literature to advance an alternative framework that additionally accounts for structures and processes above the workplace level – namely, the (potentially implicit) contract linking employees to the organization and the business strategies enacted by the latter. The resulting propositions suggest that the performance-enhancing impact of worker participation hinges on the presence of participatory or participation-supporting structures at all three levels of the employment relationship. I conclude with implications for participation research.