Monday, July 30, 2012

“Getting Better at Getting Better”

This week, with the help of our colleagues from Next Level Partners, we have begun the training of another group of Performance Improvement (PI) Masters.  There is a science of improvement and we need more people to learn this science. Our existing PI Masters and now our new ones in training will lead more improvement efforts to help us get to our vision.

People love our vision and they are upset when we don’t treat people the way we want our own loved ones treated. When a patient waits in our Emergency Department waiting room, no one is happy. The waits and delays are nothing more than a characteristic of the system we are operating. We have a tremendous will to change.  But on a typical day managers are putting out fires and working hard to get through their day, so we need people who can support initiatives both small and large and help the process owner improve the process.

I am grateful for the work of Tressa Springmann, VP and Chief Information Officer, and Carolyn Candiello, VP, Quality and Patient Safety, along with Keith Poisson, our Chief Operating Officer, and John Saunders MD, our Chief Medical Officer, who have taken some time to redesign our overall system for supporting change. This week’s training program for more PI Masters is part of that redesigned improvement system. We need to get better at fixing big problems (like flow out of the Emergency Department) and smaller problems.

Over time, we all need to know at least the basic tools of improvement and it is our goal that we would all get this knowledge over the next few years. A great way to learn is by doing, so as part of the PI Masters education this week, three teams ran “mini kaizens” (improvement events) on ED flow, outflow from the PACU and discharge of chest pain patients. They have scheduled tests of change in these processes for next week and I am very excited to see the results! We will get better at executing change and sustaining these changes through our new oversight model. I am grateful for all of their hard work and excited that we will be getting better at continuous improvement.

Employee Opinion Survey

Just a quick reminder to all GBMC staff to fill out your annual Employee Opinion Survey, which is now available online and will run through the end of August.  This is a vital tool for management and we have made several changes in the past few years based on your feedback.  To maximize its value, it is important that every employee complete the survey.  We are striving for an increase in employee participation to 85 percent.  Make sure you save your survey brochure after you complete the online form, because at the end of each week during the survey, randomly selected access codes will be chosen for one of many valuable prizes, such as a $25 Target or gas card or the grand prize of an iPad or $500.

Parking and Smokers

Thank you to a number of readers who posted comments on last week’s blog about both the parking and smoking situations on campus.  You are correct, the rules need to be enforced better and we will be exploring ways to do this.

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