In 1999, I joined the Woodland Hills Medical Center’s LMP Council and was asked to help lead the council’s work on culturally competent care. My ‘aha’ moment about partnership came when I realized you need buy-in from everybody to get things done. As a physician, you think, ‘I can do what I want.’ But when we brought interpreters into the exam room, we needed support from frontline staff, the department administrator and physicians. Without partnership, the workflow is inconsistent, systems are not addressed and patient care is fragmented. Conversely, when I’m in a department where I’m working with labor and management and we’re all on the same page, then the delivery of medical care works well for our patients, staff, managers and physicians.
Patricia de la Riva, MD, assistant area medical director and physician LMP champion (Southern California)