Jonena Relth, TBD Consulting
I just finished reading an insightful book about ThedaCare's transformation to Lean Healthcare delivery which started in 2002. ThedaCare, Wisconsin's largest employer has as its foundational principle:
"RESPECT which means wanting everyone on staff to have meaningful lives, and working actively toward their fulfillment."
The book, On the Mend, Revolutionizing Healthcare to Save Lives and Transform the Industry, written by John Toussaint, MD, and Roger A. Gerard, PhD, is deemed to be:
"Part case study, part manifesto, this groundbreaking book uses plain language and real-life examples to explain lead healthcare -- not as theory, but as a working system based on proven lean management principles adapted from industry and applicable by any healthcare provider."
An honest tell all, Toussaint and Gerard hold nothing back. They included failures as well as some of the successes they enjoyed along their "Lean Journey" which started in 2002. I see this as a valuable teaching book that can help the rest of us hopefully avoid some of "the alligators in the Lean transformation swamp." I'm a big believer in benchmarking the best in class, especially if they share the problems they overcame to get to where they are today, so I found this book easy to read and my margins are full of notes from what I learned and want to emulate.
As with all large change initiatives, it is imperative that senior leaders embrace and lead the way. Your employees need to see you modeling the new ways/behavior and see proof that you are drinking the "Kool-Aid" that you want them to drink WITH YOU. Developing a Lean culture is no different from other change initiatives and Toussaint and Gerard talk about the bumps in the process because their leaders weren't going to the Gemba [workplace where the real value is created in an organization] every week.
If we are to learn only one thing about change in 2013, it must be that all the leaders of an organization need to be on board and modeling the desired changed behavior. If we don't, we might as well save our money and not invest our time and efforts "Pretending" to change the cultures of our organizations. We hire smart people and they know when we're serious enough to make the change happen or if we're just trying out the flavor of the month that they can ignore.
A different kind of healthcare is possible - one that is more patient-focused with less waste and cost and better outcomes! Lean is the way for us to improve the healthcare in our country and we need to get serious about it!
To successful LEAN change initiatives in 2013!
TBD Consulting has a proven track record for ensuring staff and physician adoption of EMR/EHR system implementations as well as Lean Healthcare. Whether you need assistance to create a training department or organizational change department, help your existing training organization meet the needs of the ongoing changes, or simply need "extra hands" to meet your deadlines or ROI goals, please contact Jonena. She and her qualified staff are here to assist you with your organizational development, coaching and training initiatives.