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AMC named 2010 best hospital workplace

Austin Medical Center announced Monday that it was recognized last week by the Minnesota Hospital Association as the 2010 Best Hospital Workplace.

Austin Medical Center was selected for the award based on its staff retention; 2009 staff satisfaction survey results; and its online staff recognition program called Great Place, through which staff are recognized and rewarded by their coworkers and leaders for length of service, job performance, birthdays, holidays and for referring other people to work at AMC.

The award was one of 18 individual and group  Minnesota Hospital Association (MHA) honors announced at a banquet in Minneapolis last week.

MHA President and CEO Lawrence Massa said AMC’s “efforts exemplify the kind of first-rate attention to quality that Minnesota hospitals are Known for.”

AMC chief administrative officer, Adam Rees, called the award a great honor at a press conference Monday, and said it has taken the hospital about a decade to earn it.

In 1999, turnover rates at AMC were near 20 percent; in 2009, the turnover was 6 percent.

AMC human resources director, Keri Slegh, explained that the medical center implemented a comprehensive retention strategy after 1999’s poor turnover.

The plan includes benefits for all staff, regardless of union membership or position, and the online Great Place system which helps staff earn Chamber Bucks when they are recognized by their peers. Chamber Bucks are gift certificates that can be used at participating Austin businesses.

Austin Medical Center has 965 physicians and staff; and in a 2009 survey administered at nine Mayo Health Systems sites, AMC staff responded most frequently that they would recommend their site as a great place to work.

AMC vice president of operational support Rod Nordeng said that while employee satisfaction rates have risen, so too have patient satisfaction scores.

“It seems like common sense,” he said. “In any industry, if you feel good about what you’re doing, if you feel good about the organization, hopefully that transpires into your work.”

A celebration will be held for employees in June.

For more details of MHA’s awards, go to www.mnhospitals.org