Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't stop.

Whenever we run a Lean rapid improvement event as part of BIDMC SPIRIT, we ask the participants to fill out a questionnaire. One question we ask is, "Was this a worthwhile experience, why?"

We had an event last week in one of our central processing divisions, the place where surgical instruments and supplies for the ORs are cleaned, sterilized, and maintained. The group comprised CPD folks and also nurses and surgery techs from the ORs. There are often tensions between these two groups, as misunderstandings arise in the stressful OR environment between the people in the two areas who are pursuing parallel parts of the same surgical processes. But, look at the answers to the question above after three days of very hard work together:

Yes, I feel like I was exposed to so many other departments and learned so much about the amount of time it takes to accomplish what you would think of as simple goals and tasks.

Yes, this event uncovered and exposed the process issues between OR/CPD. I feel that this is a good beginning, but will have to continue with other Lean projects to prove process and standardization.

Yes, I think it shows people how changes can be made and they can be effective and well received. Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't stop.

This was a worthwhile experience. I was able to learn more about the facilitation of good communication. I was able to learn more about effectively engaging others. Issues that affect both productivity and employee satisfaction were clearly revealed.

Yes, because the safer we are the better the Department is.

Yes, finally the staff sees that this whole process was not just lip service. Everyone in CPD and the OR has gotten involved.

This was more than a worthwhile experience. It shows how much can be accomplished when people put their ideas together and work as a team.

Yes, it involved multiple team members from different departments working on a common goal. Everyone's input was valued.

I was able to learn more about my co-workers' ideas, talents, and values. I found that particularly rewarding. The process provides many tool for creating change.

4 comments:

Mark Graban said...

It's amazing how perspectives change when departments start looking at the whole value stream... instead of finger pointing and blame, you get understanding and collaboration.

I've seen this in many hospitals... the E.D. and lab are just down the hall from each other, but lab people have never been to the E.D. and vice versa. They don't talk unless someone is on the phone yelling or asking a question. It seems so basic -- go to the other person's place and see their process. Many of the problems are caused by misunderstandings or people trying to do the right things... not because "that other department" doesn't care or is intentionally trying to hurt the other department.

Common goals and teamwork -- it's always nice to read about progress in that direction!! Thanks for the post.

e-Patient Dave said...

Is that a sampling of the answers or all of them?

(Regardless, RT: Don't stop. Don't stop. Don't stop.)

Paul Levy said...

All.

e-Patient Dave said...

Mark,

> It's amazing how perspectives change
> when departments start looking at the whole value stream...
> instead of finger pointing and blame,
> you get understanding and collaboration.

Let's not forget that this can only happen when there's support from the very top (including boards) for putting a higher priority on improvement than on fault-finding.

As soon as people get negative consequences for "admitting blame" (or anything else that includes "admitting"), the whole thing breaks down.