Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Commonwealth Compact

I had the pleasure last week of attending the opening celebration of the Commonwealth Compact, which has the following mission statement:

To establish Massachusetts as a uniquely inclusive, honest and supportive community of -- and for -- diverse people. To acknowledge our mixed history in this effort, and to face squarely the challenges that still need to be overcome, understanding that the rich promise of the region's growing diversity must be tapped fully if Boston and Massachusetts are to achieve their economic, civic and social potential.

Members of the Compact, which already include over 100 institutions and companies, agree to make certain commitments and participate in data collection about various aspects of diversity (e.g., board membership, staffing, purchasing). These data will be collected and published for the various business sectors. Data from individual companies will not be released in an effort to focus on the collective accountability of the state's business leaders to enhance recruitment, mentorship, and support of women and minorities in the work environment.

At BIDMC, we support these goals, and we like the idea of collective accountability as symbolic of the need for all to work together on these issues for the good of the greater community. However, as is the case with regard to our goals for quality and safety and patient satisfaction in the delivery of health care, we believe that publication of our own progress is an important aspect of holding ourselves accountable. Accordingly, it is our intention to publish our own data on these measures when we submit them for inclusion in the Compact's industry-wide figures. In so doing, we do not in any way mean to undermine the collective reporting model adopted by the Commonwealth Compact, nor in any way seek to create public pressure for others to also release their data outside of that model. While we would welcome that action, our purpose is to send a message to our own boards and our own staff that we hold ourselves accountable to a high standard of commitment on these matters. Where we may fall short, we must -- without casting blame -- share responsibility throughout our organization and let everyone in the hospital know the facts so that we can all acknowledge those flaws and, together, seek ways to improve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on joining this effort -- this is a great idea.