Dr. Gary Kaplan, CEO of Virginia Mason, on Healthcare Morale
It might only be free (brief registration required) for a limited time, but there's a great video of Dr. Kaplan (with his slides) talking about Lean and the challenges facing healthcare (content no longer available for free).
In his introductory comments, Dr. Kaplan talks about the importance of morale (or the scale of the problem in our current state across healthcare):
After introducing problems about quality, access, and cost, Dr. Kaplan said:
Perhaps the most significant issue, in many ways, is the morale of our workforce.
Physicians are retiring in their mid 50s out of frustration, as “this is not what they signed up for.”
The reason is we're asking our people to work in environments of chaos and environments that are full of waste… environments that conspire against them and prevent them from doing their very best work. And that's not what we want to be about.
Part of the power of Kaizen, as an improvement methodology and management philosophy, is that the initial focus is on the MORALE of staff (as taught to us by Massaki Imai). Helping people fix those systems that conspire against them leads to better quality and efficiency… but the improvements (and the engagement) lead to better morale… which leads to better patient satisfaction and better results.
Kaizen is important to Virginia Mason Medical Center. VMMC is well known for their weeklong “Rapid Process Improvement Workshops,” but they also try to practice Kaizen daily – smaller, more gradual improvements, something we wrote about in Healthcare Kaizen, specifically quoting and citing VMMC.
Here are two small excerpts:
Be sure to check out his talk. Other resources:
- The book about their Lean journey at VMMC: Transforming Health Care: Virginia Mason Medical Center's Pursuit of the Perfect Patient Experience
- An interview with Dr. Kaplan (via LeanROI.org)
- Blog post about a CBS News story on Virginia Mason (video might not be available any more, but I took notes)