Video: The Culture is Staff Input; Info About a Class on Kaizen at Franciscan St. Francis Health


Franciscan Kaizen staff inputHere's the latest in our series of videos about Kaizen and a culture of continuous improvement at Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis. Scroll down in this post for a survey that Joe Swartz and I are doing about a workshop / class we are going to hold on site this spring in Indianapolis.

The staff in different areas of the Franciscan system, and their leaders, are so inspiring. They're creating a better workplace, improving care and service to patients, and everybody wins. Quality goes up, cost goes down. It comes down to leadership – setting a tone and helping people collaborate. It's not always about what you DO as a leader, but sometimes it's about getting out of the way and letting people work on Kaizen (without abandoning them as a leader, either).

The latest video with two nurses, Rhonda and Julie, from endoscopy:

When you visit the department, you really get a sense that Kaizen is not a program… it's just what they do.

Sometimes people “just do” improvement, and it's on the leaders (or peers) to say, “Wait a minute, that's an improvement and that's worth documenting, sharing, and recognizing someone for.” Or, “That's a Kaizen.”

The leaders let staff try things. They rarely come up with unreasonable ideas that shouldn't be tested. If people are coming up with bad ideas, leaders should coach and develop their people to come up with better ideas. We have to work together with people, not judge them.

Take a Survey About Our Workshop:

UPDATE: Here is information about our workshop, to be held first on April 22-23, 2015.

As I mentioned before, Joe Swartz and I are working on developing an onsite Kaizen class to teach at Franciscan. We're hoping you'd be willing to come to Indianapolis to see that a culture of continuous improvement looks and feels like.

We'd like to take advantage of being on site there to keep lecture time to a minimum. That might mean reading one of our books in advance or doing some online learning that we'd set up.

I think being on site at St. Francis allows us to:

  • Have discussions about your challenges and your plans for creating a Kaizen culture
  • Visit departments to see and talk to people in small groups
  • Run a simulation exercise that allows us to practice Kaizen
  • Hear talks from Franciscan leaders at many levels… coming to them to hear their wisdom and experiences.

If you're the least bit interested in this class (and would like to keep informed about it) or would like to give feedback, please take our short survey.

Video Transcript:

Rhonda:  The biggest thing, the culture down here is staff input into everything. It's massively different than anywhere else I've ever been. They want staff trying to figure out how you can fix things. The Kaizens fit right in with that.

Simple things like just putting allergy tape in every patient's rooms so you don't have to run out to the desk to get it every time you mark a chart, little things like that make your life easier. It's a Kaizen and she wants people thinking like that. “What can you do to make our job easier and quicker? I want quicker so the patients can get done what they need to, and go home and eat lunch.”

They're all thinking about what they're having to eat and drink. They want to get out of here. The quicker we can make things, and the easier on the nurses, the faster you can move.

Julie:  I think it has to be, as well. They allow us to implement things. You can put Kaizens in until the cows come home. But if your department itself and the managers don't allow you to implement it and see if it will work, then there's no point in it. But she allows us to do that.

Rhonda:  Actually, she'll say, “Go ahead and do whatever it is.”


Julie:  Change it, see if it works. If it didn't work…


Rhonda:  Then put the Kaizens through. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. But do it.

Julie:  She encourages that.

Mark:  That's different than a lot of organizations, this idea of, “Let's go and try it. Let's evaluate it. Let's see if it works.” Even if it wasn't the manager's idea, they let you.

Julie:  Right. They let us do it. It's not all Kaizens. She'll even, like I said, call and say, “Now, Julie, we know you did this. You know, that's a Kaizen. Can you put that down for us? Or work the numbers for me or…” She encourages you to think like that where most of the time you just get…

This is very task oriented back here. Get a patient in, get them out, get them in, get them out. But she encourages us to think outside that box.

Rhonda:  Right. I'm new next door. I'd come in and see these deep cabinets on the floor. “They're stupid and they're not in order. They don't make any sense.” She looked at me. She goes, “Rearrange them,” so I spent a couple of hours until I rearranged them, labeled them and everything. It was like, “OK. This works better.”

You wouldn't be able to do that if she didn't give you the ability to be able to go and just implement what you want.

What do you think? Please scroll down (or click) to post a comment. Or please share the post with your thoughts on LinkedIn – and follow me or connect with me there.

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.



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