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Taking a Firm Stance on the "Soft Stuff": A Case For Culture

 

Case Studies - Jessica Rohman - July 18, 2013

Taking a Firm Stance on the "Soft Stuff": A Case For Culture

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Meridian Health, Culture Impact Brief

“If there is a single point to take away, it is that the culture Meridian has today would not have been possible without the commitment of leadership all the way up to (and especially) the CEO.~Patrice Ventura, Director of Human Resources Operations and Organizational Effectiveness

Leaders at Meridian Health have taken a deliberate approach to infusing a common culture throughout their 12,000-person health care system.

By starting with a system philosophy and strong leadership commitment to “The Meridian Way,” as they have branded their culture, the organization is well on its way to realizing its goal of providing the best healthcare experience to the state of New Jersey as evidenced by outstanding patient satisfaction scores, numerous industry accolades, rock-bottom turnover rates, and stellar financial performance.

BY PUTTING CULTURE FIRST, MERIDIAN HEALTH HAS:


Created a great workplace for team members…
  • FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® for the past 4 years
  • New Jersey’s Best Places to Work for the past 9 years
…and a great health care provider for the state of New Jersey
  • Three of the six Meridian hospitals have been awarded Magnet designation
  • J.D. Power & Associates Distinguished Hospital Awards
  • Systemwide Press Ganey Patient Satisfaction scores above the 80th percentile
  • Recognized for Quality with the John M. Eisenberg Award
  • Above National Average on All Quality Indicators
Meridian trains their team members…
  • Over $1.2M annually provided in Tuition Assistance
  • 75% of nurses maintain certification in their area of expertise
  • Managers spend 40-50 hours annually in training
  • Development of Team Meridian University & Meridian Leadership Institute®
…and they hold onto them
  • 5% Voluntary Turnover (Industry average is 16.2%)*
  • 2.4% Nurse Vacancy Rate
  • 60% internal movement rate for nursing and 47% overall movement rate
*Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

In 2013, Meridian Health, a 12,000-person New Jersey-based not-for-profit health care system, jumped from the #96 spot on the FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work For® List to #39, making it one of the top two healthcare organizations on the List that year (out of 11 total). According to Sherrie String, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Meridian, it is their deliberately designed and tirelessly maintained “Culture of Excellence” that has catapulted them to this level of success as a workplace, as well as to being one of the top-rated health care systems in New Jersey. Says String of their culture, “It didn’t just happen… it’s a journey, it’s continuous, and it never ends. Never take that breath and say ‘we made it’; this is when you go backwards.” In fact, “The Meridian Way,” as they have branded their culture, is an intentional approach to mobilizing the entire health care system toward a common vision: to provide the best health care experience to the New Jersey communities they serve.

Foundations For Success: A “System” Mentality And Commitment From The Top Meridian Health started out as three distinct hospitals that merged into one organization in 1997, under the leadership of CEO and President John K. Lloyd. Since then, it has grown to a full continuum health care system with six hospitals, Partner Companies that include home health services, skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers, assisted living, ambulatory care, physician practices, ambulatory services and outpatient centers, covering two counties in New Jersey, serving 45% of the market in that area. Meridian is proud of its affiliation with over 2,100 physicians (including nearly 200 employed physicians) and 12,000 team members, with four unions.

Jessica Rohman