In developing the Values Driven System, leaders of the Southcentral Foundation (SCF) invested significant time engaging their customers: sharing the model’s vision, actively soliciting feedback, and incorporating the feedback into the model’s services. SCF continues to utilize many methods for listening and engaging customer-owners including surveys, focus groups, advisory committees, customer service representatives, Listening Conferences, Annual Gatherings, and customer comment processes. In addition, customer-owners represent 62 percent of SCF’s workforce, and the entire Board of Directors are customer-owners.
The Values Driven System employs three recruiters: one national physician recruiter, one local and instate recruiter, and one national non-physician recruiter. When recruiting nationally, they focus on whether the candidate will fit in with the lifestyle of Alaska (e.g. weather, seasons, cost of living, culture) as lifestyle fit is an important factor in whether a new hire will remain at the organization. In both national and local recruiting, SCF makes an effort to interview and hire Alaska Natives.
The South Central Foundation shifted from a reactive, vacancy approach for hiring to a more continuous, group approach. They identified positions they were always hiring for and adopted a long-term strategy for hiring positions like RNs and physicians. They developed a group selection process led by a hiring committee, who interview candidates and offer them positions that are the best fit for the candidate and the organization.
The candidate learns about all open positions, and based on interviews, the committee determines if the person is a good fit for the organization and identifies the position that provides the right fit for the individual. This process has resulted in reduced turnover as the committee is hiring individuals who are a good fit with the organization and with a specific position.
The hiring process incorporates behavioral interviews, which include customized questions based on organization standards and department needs. When someone is interviewing a candidate, s/he goes into the database and selects which categories and which sub-questions are important and appropriate for each situation.
For hard to fill positions such as registered nurses, the hiring committee does same-day hiring. The committee interviews a candidate and then meets to make a decision. They then inform the candidate that day if they are going to move forward with an offer pending a reference check.
The hiring committee re-evaluates interview questions quarterly.
The South Central Foundation invests heavily in on-boarding and staff training. All new employees attend a three and a half day orientation. One day of the orientation focuses on the customer-owner, providing information on the population served by the model. The orientation introduces new employees to the values and core beliefs of the organization – “why they are here and who they are here to serve”.
SCF provides position-specific training programs, including ones for new managers and Certified Medical Assistants, as well as continuing education programs. Each training program stresses effective communication and working well within teams.
SCF provides eight and a half weeks of training for administrative support positions; the curriculum includes training about their specific role as well as the roles of the rest of the care delivery team. This has really decreased turnover and improved employee success.
SCF has developed career ladders for almost half of the positions in the organization, including a track for a high school graduate to start in an administrative support position and move up all the way to being the President/CEO.
The Values Driven System provides services to any and all Alaska Natives, regardless of income or address.
The Values Driven System has hosted site visits for many different organizations interested in learning more about their model.
A clinic in Seattle has been using the core philosophy of the model and designed their facility from the ground up to deliver services aligned with the needs of the population.
The Values Driven System is an ambitious model providing a comprehensive range of services to an entire population. The model as a whole is most relevant for organizations that have full-risk for the health care of a given population. However, many other types of organizations might want to adopt or adapt various elements of the model. In both cases, it is important to recognize the importance of listening to potential customers and adapting the care delivery model to suit their needs and wants.