IDPH Survey Update
I wanted to share some good news about the site visit from the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) last month. As you may recall, the onsite survey was rigorous and time-consuming, as it involved many frontline staff and leaders over many hours and days. IDPH initiated the survey shortly after NNOC/NNU publicly announced as part of negotiations that they had filed complaints with the agency suggesting deficiencies in our staffing model.
I am pleased and proud to report that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services/IDPH did not find any deficiencies in our staffing. “The University of Chicago Medical Center was found to be in compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation and will continue to be deemed to meet applicable Medicare requirements based upon accreditation by the Joint Commission,” according to the letter we received. IDPH did note limited findings around documentation on such items as tubing labels, pain reassessment and vital signs. As many of you know, we have been focused on improvements in these areas for the past several months and will continue to address them as part of our ongoing quality program.
This most recent review and final report on our operations is an affirmation of our safety and first-in-class staffing among Chicago-area medical centers. You should be especially proud of this fact, since you play a key role in the care of our patients and their families. Please do not be discouraged by any allegations that seek to impugn our hospital’s-safety record. The data and reports of multiple regulatory bodies and independent agencies show they don’t reflect our accomplishments and safety record, thanks in significant part to your efforts and commitment to our patients.
Thanks to your work and collaboration, we continue to drive a culture of patient safety and to empower our teams to adjust and address patient acuity and other situation-specific needs in real-time.
I again invite you to look at the data across the city for yourself by going to the state’s Illinois Hospital Report Card site — rather than turning to old or inaccurate data that may be floating around out there. For your convenience, I am also providing a direct link to UCMC’s staffing data on IDPH’s site and to the staffing data we posted on ucmcnurses.org. You will see that staffing on our units continues to average well ahead of the fixed ratios that NNOC/NNU advocates as part of its national agenda.
Our UCMC team will continue to negotiate with NNOC/NNU in good faith through respectful, cooperative discussions. Everyone at UCMC wants to reach a new labor contract that allows us to continue delivering the high-quality, compassionate and affordable care in a safe environment that our patients expect and deserve. The way to get a fair result for all of us is through constructive discussions at the bargaining table, instead of focusing on heated rhetoric or public posturing. We look forward to our next negotiating session on August 6, and are hopeful for a substantive response to the multiple proposals we delivered weeks ago.
We will continue to update you on the facts about negotiations throughout this process. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your unit manager with any questions you might have, and you can also check ucmcnurses.org for updates.
Thank you for everything you do for our patients, one another and all members of our care teams.