HUMAN Capital - Fall 2015 - (Page 10)

FEATURE building for success at alberta Health services Hr plays key role in the creation of Canada's largest integrated health system. bY ToNY beNNeTT, CHrP, aND GerarD STaNG, mal, CHrP may 15, 2008, marks the start of one of the largest and most complex mergers in Canadian history and involved a coordinated effort by Hr to facilitate the creation of one organization - alberta Health Services (aHS). consisted of diverse groups that had supported the previous entities, with their own philosophies and approaches to work. The first step to support the aHS transformation was to get the Hr house in order. Today, aHS serves 4 million albertans through 99,900 employees, making it the fifth largest employer in Canada. Hr House In addition, aHS is supported by 15,600 volunteers and more than 7,700 physicians. Health services are delivered at five psychiatric facilities and 100 acute care hospitals with 8,230 acute care beds and more than 22,000 continuing care spaces. Challenges of transition Prior to the formation of aHS, the health authorities (and then health regions) and provincial boards each had their own administrative structure and Hr practices. Complex challenges were everywhere as Hr took on the task of creating the common structure, policies, processes and systems to support aHS leadership and workforce. In some cases, an existing policy or program from one area was used and spread across the province. In other cases, something new had to be developed to be appropriate for the realities of a province-wide organization. Staff and physicians wanted information about aHS but, at that point, no formal internal communications tools existed - no Intranet, newsletter or email distribution lists had been created. For the newly merged Hr team, it was also a time of transformation as the team 10 | one of Hr's primary tasks in enabling the aHS transformation was to get itself in a position where it could provide that support. as a first step, the interim Hr leadership ensured key Hr leaders from each of the former health authorities were involved in some aspect of the merger - including assisting with organizational design, developing a common compensation system and supporting aHS executive through change management. This created the sense that all were in this together. From there, Hr needed to develop a way to provide sustainable, supportive Hr practices and approaches - while at the same time taking advantage of our new size. Through a very inclusive process aHS developed its Hr service delivery model. This model accomplished the following: * frontline HR services were kept at a local level * central HR service were provided through cross-province teams * employee services were provided through a single point of entry Hr's role continues to grow and evolve. It's challenge is to maintain a responsive, strategically focused Hr team that enables aHS leaders to focus on the providing albertans the best health care they can. benefits of being one The benefits of creating one health system were immediate. It is estimated that this merger to one provincial health entity saved taxpayers approximately $600 million in administrative costs upon amalgamation; money reinvested back into patient care. Hr was a key player in all this integration work. Through considerable effort, the Hr team worked together to reconcile the approach Hr would take to supporting the organization. one of the first areas of focus was to develop provincial standards and a consistent process for performance management, as standards and practices had varied from region to region. There was also a focus on identifying duplications of service in Hr and applying common standards of bylaws and policies, and a strategic governance policy, to guide aHS and its workforce. For recruitment, the transition to one employer avoided competition and created a highly recognizable brand to attract potential hires to alberta. We were able to focus recruitment efforts for highest need - adding physicians and other clinical staff in rural and remote communities. This also worked well for recruiting staff to new facilities such as alberta's biggest and newest hospital, the South Health Campus, without compromising staffing levels at other aHS sites. aHS is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our patients and staff. as a single entity, aHS could coordinate and implement a province-wide staff immunization program; the goal being that no patient should get influenza from

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of HUMAN Capital - Fall 2015

Leadership Matters
Tech Talk
Building for Success at Alberta Health Services
Fostering Collaboration and Consultation in Developing AHS’s People Strategy
AHS HR Service Delivery Model
Transforming HR in AHS
Implementing Organizational Change Adoption
Leadership Development and the LEA DS in a Caring Environment Capabilities Framework
Blurred Lines: Human Resources and Health-Care Information
Curbing Absenteeism
HR’s Role in Creating and Maintaining a Psychologically Safe Work Environment
HR’s Response in an Emergency Natural Disaster
Legal Source
Policy Corner
Index of Advertisers/

HUMAN Capital - Fall 2015