Sunday, April 3, 2011

Closing the Loop and Fostering Innovation

Working in healthcare means many people know what you and your organization are up to at all or at least most times. No doubt, we live in a "highly visible environment" and open ourselves up to guidance (sounds much nicer than criticism) on a regular basis. Personally, I really enjoy the fact that my words and actions are looked after - there is no greater perspective than getting a 360 degree feedback on a daily if not weekly basis. Actually, it makes it much easier to course correct and get things back on track. And let's face it designing systems to create and deliver value to your patients and organization is a never ending task.

This past week, I held nine hospital Town Hall meetings to accommodate the different shifts and days. It is not always easy for people to breakaway for a Town Hall or come in on their off time. Tonight, we discussed ways that each of us could impact our organization's goals. These goals are in line with our mission and include:

- Quality Care
- Compliance and Safety
- Patient Satisfaction
- Market Growth and Operating Effectiveness

So how will we continue to advance our efforts? This is where everyone needs to understand their role in achieving the organization's goals and help create the priorities for improvement and innovation. We discussed the importance of "kaizen" or continuous improvement on a daily basis.

The people attending the Town Hall meetings had a lot of great ideas. One thing we could improve upon is how we mine for these ideas and close the loop with those who provided the idea. When we follow-up with those people with the ideas, we foster even more innovation. At SJMC alone, we could implement 4,600 improvements every year if every employee, volunteer and physician brought forward just 2 ideas which we planned for and implemented. They do not have to be big ideas. A lot of them could be kept simple and have a great impact on our goals.

Let me know about the small and large innovations you've created to better your organization.

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