I wish I had shared this story when the video was still available (not sure why the TV station pulled it down) — in this link: “Freeman cheers staff ideas to improve hospital.”
Freeman Health System, in Missouri, saved more than $6 million from staff ideas and their “Bright Ideas” program. Not sure if that was $6 million in 2011 (I'd assume so).
The IT department alone had 378 ideas and one employee alone had 56.
The CEO stated (as we believe in the Kaizen philosophy) that it's not just “the bosses” who have ideas for improvement.
An example of improvement:
Tech officials say it can be as simple as switching software or combining data storage. Central supply switched from reprocessing lazer fiber to prepackaged disposable ones, saving $12,000 and employee time.
As is common in programs like this, the incentive seems to be the pride in improving your own work, as the improvement celebration offered free ice cream. Successful idea and Kaizen programs don't have to “bribe” employees to improve (as Dr. Deming or Alfie Kahn might say). Intrinsic motivation is a powerful thing. What is your organization doing to encourage more improvement?
If you're interested in this topic, please check out my upcoming book Healthcare Kaizen and my startup KaiNexus (come back this afternoon for a preview video of our initial iPhone app that works with our full system).
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Check out my latest book, The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation: