Dear all–

I just returned from Switzerland and a conference called “Safety Management in Context,” hosted by Gudela Grote (ETH Zurich) and John Carroll (MIT Sloan School of Management), about 75 people were invited from around the world to identify principles of safety management by comparing our experiences across countries and across industries.

Suffice it to say that while healthcare is strikingly more complex than aviation, chemical, nuclear, electrical, etc., there is far more that can be done than we currently do to reduce unnecessary risk, waste and variation. One emergent theme was the benefit of establishing shared goals with one’s regulators and other key actors such as workers, contractors, auditors, payers, patients, families and the broader community to foster learning through problem solving rather than blame avoiding communication across organizational boundaries.

As RCRC starts its third year, our Board will meet this Thursday from 11-1:00 ET to reflect back and look ahead.

Growth of the RCRC Community

Our community has almost doubled over the past year from 450 to nearly 900 participants, along with an expansion in RC Survey use.

Our founding partners at Indiana University Health, Kaiser Permanente, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, McArdle Ramerman Center, Salus Global Corporation and Team Working Life have expanded their use of the RC Survey significantly over the past year and/or have plans to expand significantly in the next several months.

New users include AnMed Health, Billings Clinic, Bon Secours Health System, Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Medical Center, Concord Hospital, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Group Health Cooperative, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Pennsylvania State University Health, Quantros, St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center, Stanford University Medical Center, and the Veterans Administration, as well as professional partners Curt Lindberg (Partners in Complexity), Terry Hill (Hill Physicians Medical Group), Jeff Cohn (Plexus Institute) and Paul Weisman (SMART Conversations).

In addition, we’ve seen increasing use by health systems and municipalities throughout Europe including Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK – with an emerging trend toward using RC to improve performance in municipalities, for example Manchester UK and Amsterdam, sometimes as part of healthy community initiatives.

To support this growth, the RCRC has made two major new investments over the past year – the RCRC Learning Center and the RC Survey 2.0.

RCRC Learning Center

As we came very close to the point of being overwhelmed by emails, we actively organized the shared learning of the RCRC community into a searchable database and blog. Launching on July 1st, the components of the Learning Center include:

  • Publications & Research
  • Predictors & Outcomes
  • Videos, Webinars and Slides
  • Tools for Change
  • Intervention Directory
  • RCRC Blog

Stay tuned for a July 1st launch date when we will welcome you to visit here to see what others are doing and to share your ideas and questions and content with us!

RC Survey 2.0

This new version of the RC Survey includes significant upgrades based on feedback we heard from RC Survey users:

  1. The capacity to include patients/families as part of the care provider network
  2. Enhanced data visualization to more readily identify RC patterns
  3. Enhanced reporting capabilities including optional inclusion of descriptive statistics and choice between report formats
  4. Ability to compare multiple sites and multiple time periods
  5. Social network analysis of RC data as a premium offering

RC Survey 2.0 is the first product of our new spinoff – Relational Coordination Analytics, Inc., which is moving into its tiny office space in the Cambridge Innovation Center at One Broadway in lively Kendall Square. We will hold a grand opening in the coming year for RCRC partners who want to celebrate this milestone with us.


Upcoming Events to Note

1) Academy of Management Meetings in Orlando August 9-12

Learning to Coordinate – Relational and Technical Transformations in Health Care Delivery

At the Academy of Management Meetings in Orlando, Florida, this symposium explores relational and technical approaches to coordination in the current healthcare context. An increased focus on population health and accountability for both cost and quality outcomes, driven by the aging population and the rise of chronic illness, has placed a premium on the coordination of care. Together these papers demonstrate the need for a broader understanding of coordination in which relational and technical approaches are used in a synergistic way to achieve high performance in the most challenging work environments.

Chaired by Samer Faraj (McGill University) and Jody Hoffer Gittell (Brandeis University):

“Introducing Standards in Rehabilitation Medicine as Support for Relational Coordination,” by Gudela Grote and Mareike Haase (ETH Zurich)

“Exploring the Relational Dynamics of the Change Process in the Era of Accountable Care,” by Saleema Moore (Brandeis University).

“Improving Relational Coordination through Clinical Pathways and Team Meetings in Obstetric Care,” by Peter Groenewegen (Erasmus University) and Vera Schölmerich (VU University Amsterdam).

“The Interplay between Programmed and Relational Means of Coordination: The Case of Care Pathways,” by Thim Praetorius (University of Southern Denmark).


2) RCRC Fall Roundtable at UC Berkeley October 17-18

3) RC Survey Intervention Training in St. Louis November 7-8


For details about these events and more, Click Here.

Take care and we hope to see you soon!


— Jody and the RCRC team