By November 14, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

This Awesome Video Shows What Kaizen Looks Like at Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network (HonorHealth)

Thanks to my friend (and future co-authorMike Stoecklein for sharing this video (and a blog post) about his Healthcare Value Network visit to Scottsdale Lincoln Health Network (now called HonorHealth).

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 12.58.05 PMThe video shows many employees from many different departments at what they call an “ACT Fair” – an improvement fair where different departments highlight how they “act” to improve. Kaizen isn’t just about identifying opportunities or making suggestions… it’s about testing and implementing improvements.

It’s great to see, in that first department, that they’ve implemented such a high percentage of their ideas (52 out of 72). That’s a sign of a healthy improvement program. A good benchmark (from Toyota and healthcare organizations like Franciscan St. Francis Health is to implement near 90% of your ideas, even if that means changing the idea along the way).

The ED improvement of having cell phone chargers available for patients — I’ve had a client of mine come up with the same idea in another hospital ED and they asked volunteers to bring in old chargers from home.

Sure, it might be better for the team to reduce E.D. waiting times so that phones don’t go dead… but making chargers available is a thoughtful short-term countermeasure perhaps.

Imagine how powerful it would be to have a widely available database of improvement ideas that hospitals could use to share and learn. I’m sure each ED has the creativity to come up with this idea based on their own customer feedback, but I wonder how it would help to share ideas… we don’t want to shortcut people’s learning and sharing ideas shouldn’t be a replacement for thinking, but maybe there’s a happy balance?

Scottsdale Lincoln seems to be doing a great job of not just asking for cost savings. The improvements shown here talk about safety, quality, patient satisfaction… making work easier and less frustrating.

Screen Shot 2014-11-01 at 1.08.12 PM

The improvements shown from EVS were:

  • Patient Experience: reporting noisy carts that patients would otherwise complain about
  • Quality: Speaking with nursing about excess soiled linens in patient bathrooms, creates perception that it’s not dirty
  • Delivery: Pre-stocking the housekeeping carts to help save time
  • Safety: Lowering the dusting and mopping poles at the end of shift to help reduce injuries
  • Financials (not pictured): Replacing measuring buckets to prevent over use of chemicals
  • People (not pictured): Sign in sheets added for daily huddles

That’s the power of Kaizen. If we get people participating in Kaizen, cost savings will follow… but as the end result of the process or because we occasionally stumble into something big (like this simple Kaizen from a hospital that led to over $2.5 million a year in additional revenue).

My only question for Scottsdale Lincoln Health would be if they have a formal way of documenting improvements, in a simple template or in software? Documenting improvements is a critically important step of the Kaizen process that Joe and I lay out in our books (that process being find, discuss, implement, document, and share).

Documenting ideas:

  • Prompts reflection on what we learned and what the benefits of the Kaizen are
  • Allows us to recognize and celebrate the improvements
  • Helps us share them with other departments

I hope you enjoy the video as I did. I’ll be releasing some videos from my recent visit with Joe Swartz and Franciscan… hopefully soon. These video are all very powerful. Wouldn’t it be great to have a culture of continuous improvement?

I leave for Japan on Wednesday. I’ll be tweeting and blogging along the way…


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Now Available – The updated, expanded, and revised 3rd Edition of Mark Graban’s Shingo Research Award-Winning Book Lean Hospitals: Improving Quality, Patient Safety, and Employee Engagement. You can buy the book today, including signed copies from the author.

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an eBook titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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