California hospital and health system associations are planning a public relations campaign to counter allegations that hospital workplace redesign is hurting patient care.
The California Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the Hospital Council of Northern and Central California, and the Healthcare Association of Southern California have set a spending limit of $500,000 for a mass media campaign, according to their request for proposals, which was sent to public relations firms.
But Lori Andrete, CAHHS senior vice president of marketing and communications, said the final budget hasn't been determined. "All we're committed to right now is $100,000," she said.
According to the request for proposals, the "campaign is intended to answer claims made in the media and elsewhere by the labor unions that quality of care is suffering in facilities that have undertaken workplace redesign."
Because the letters were accompanied by copies of newspaper accounts of nurses unions protesting workplace redesign, the California Nurses Association views its activities as the campaign's prime target.
But Andrete said, "We routinely do education campaigns for our members and the public. This particular educational and public relations program is not in response to anything that's being done by organized labor or any of the unions."
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the CNA, said, "They are setting out in a very sophisticated way to discredit the role of medical professionals."
David Langness, vice president of communications at the HASC, said that in the campaign "we want to take the high road and not throw stones at anyone."