It's great to see more healthcare organizations embracing the philosophy and methodologies of kaizen (as we documented in Healthcare Kaizen). I saw some posters and presentations at the recent Society for Health Systems conference that included some nice examples of this approach from organizations including the Indianapolis VA, East Tennessee Children's Hospital, and Norwalk Hospital…
The Indianapolis VA gave a talk on their adoption of daily huddles and Lean management. They emphasize to their staff that “every improvement is good, either big or small.” Instead of one million-dollar idea, they are happy with a million $1 ideas.
Their “huddle boards” are a bit different than the Idea Boards we shared in our book (and shared by our readers).
The picture of the board is a bit obscured by their version of an Idea Card (get our template here).
Here is a picture of the board and their process:
The Indy VA emphasized:
- Small, easy improvements that don't take a lot of time.
- Following the PDSA process, where the “A” stands for either Adopted, Abandoned, or Adapted
East Tennessee Children's Hospital
Their work, as shared by Isaac Mitchell, was the direct result of my 2012 presentation about Healthcare Kaizen at SHS. They have shared some examples of their improvement work and method on our book's website. See a larger picture of their Visual Idea Board and some examples of Kaizen improvements:
Here is their poster presentation from SHS (click for a larger view):
They are combining Kaizen and A3 problem solving – it's all PDSA. The goal of “ideal patient care” is exactly what we should all be working on.
Some pictures I took of parts of the poster:
I wasn't able, unfortunately, to speak to the people behind this poster:
Again, you see the PDCA cycle front and center. The hospital appears to be using formal “Kaizen Events,” but they are also engaging front-line staff in ongoing Kaizen, it appears… everyday improvement from all employees. That's Kaizen!
Is this happening in your organization?
If you have Kaizen examples to share, you can do so via this page on our book's website (you can follow the lead of East Tennessee Children's Hospital).
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