Mount Sinai Hospital was founded in 1923, with just 30-beds and a goal to provide compassionate, quality care to area residents. They have since grown to a 472-bed patient care, teaching and research hospital. As an internationally recognized health care centre affiliated with the University of Toronto, they are highly regarded as one of North America's outstanding medical institutions.
With over 4000 full- and part-time staff to manage the 24 784 admissions each year, Mount Sinai delivers world-class health care, translating research and education into excellent patient care in the programs they offer.
With the aim of becoming a top employer, Mount Sinai conducted an employee survey and found that employees had a strong need to receive regular, fair and consistent feedback on performance. Their existing performance review system had been ad hoc, department specific and paper-based. They also had problems with tracking and compliance, and problems with evaluation consistency and quality.
This feedback further brought to light the basic need to make the hospital a more effective place to work, where people are fundamentally satisfied. The ability to provide a consistent corporate process with timely feedback to develop staff became a top priority.
The adoption of web-based employee performance management for the health care industry in Canada is progressive. Knowing this, Mount Sinai wanted to be one of the first movers. To add to this challenge, they had recently implemented a "balanced scorecard" within the organization and needed to ensure alignment of employee goals with overall corporate strategy and organizational values. Armed with their employee survey results and mindful of the hospital's accountability framework and accreditation requirements, Mount Sinai set out to make a significant strategic change by adopting a web-based HR software.
The decision offered Mount Sinai the first opportunity to introduce a corporate performance management tool. Previously, various paper-based documents existed in different departments, as a formal employee evaluation form or model had ever been implemented across the entire organization.
Their main goals were to target 100% compliance, incorporate the manager's scorecard, and improve patient and employee satisfaction results. To this end, Mount Sinai conducted a formal RFP process and subsequently interviewed three talent management solution vendors.
They chose Halogen Performance Healthcare primarily because of its adaptability and because of Halogen's strong history of working with health care organizations in the U.S. Compliance is always a challenge, so having a tool that was easy to use for employees at all levels of the organization, regardless of their technical savvy, was imperative. Mount Sinai opted to employ Halogen's secure hosting environment, in order to free up some of their internal IT resources. One other factor was price, and they found that Halogen Performance Healthcare was competitively priced, offering great value for the money.
Major organizational change cannot come without a few implementation challenges. Any challenges Mount Sinai faced were overcome with senior management support and the flexibility to better manage the overall process. Many employees expressed their desire to participate in the new formalized system and there has been a lot of uptake in short timeframe.
Since the implementation, Mount Sinai has experienced several benefits, including:
- The ability to easily track compliance and generate detailed reports — very useful for their upcoming accreditation survey;
- The ability to go back to managers and senior VPs and check compliance and accountability;
- Improved quality of feedback being given to employees; and
- The ability to measure individual accountability and reward performance.
Another outcome of this successful implementation was becoming a top learning organization. Halogen Performance Healthcare provided them with the ability to get everyone in the organization to submit a learning plan, which can then be tracked for compliance. The system supported their corporate learning strategy and the hospital's transformation towards accountability and balanced scorecard measurement.
"It's important to have corporate goals and organizational values, but it's the individual staff that make it happen. This is why it's critical that employee outcomes and contributions are aligned with our corporate direction," says Debbie Fischer, Vice-President of Organizational Development and Strategic Projects at Mount Sinai.