Category Archives: Kaizen

19 December 2016

Identify Pain Points First to Effectively Implement Radiology Process Improvements

Radiology departments are under tremendous pressure to increase efficiency without sacrificing quality, as nearly every department in the hospital depends on them to produce and read images in a timely manner. Hospital workflows are complex, and investments in new software, equipment or people that are not informed by a thorough understanding of the underlying causes of inefficiencies are unlikely to deliver the desired improvements.

An article in Radiology Today earlier this year advised department heads to do a full assessment of workflow processes to identify the “pain points” that result in inefficiencies. Pain points can be areas that may need improvement, like patient throughput, or areas where...

13 December 2016

Five Key Strategies for Driving Change in the OR

Now more than ever, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers are seeking anesthesia partners capable of driving positive change in their operating rooms. However, for many anesthesia providers, there are hurdles that must be overcome before such change can be realized.

Anesthesia groups of any size, regardless of their financial strength, can employ proven strategies to ensure the success of facility-wide patient care improvement initiatives. Here are five such strategies that Dr. Adam Blomberg, Sheridan’s national education director, has found to be effective.

Collaborate with nursing and surgeons on incremental steps toward larger improvements

Securing the buy-in of nursing and surgical staff is...

22 November 2016

Getting Creative with Emergency Room Care Starts with the Human Element

There is a new authority ruling emergency rooms across San Diego County, created to combat the influx of patients overwhelming the health care system in recent years. Known as “bed czars” and “zoomer nurses,” as featured in the San Diego Union-Tribune, medical personnel at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and Tri-City Medical Center monitor the ED and help make decisions to “fast track” patient care. They determine the patients with minor medical problems and allow them to remain for treatment and discharge, while patients with more severe conditions requiring at minimum an overnight stay are quickly transferred to the appropriate department.

The creation of these new positions...

28 October 2016

Preadmission Testing Kaizen at Memorial West: Part I

For an outsider looking in, a clinical Kaizen event may appear chaotic. Consisting of individuals well-versed in the sequence and flow of clinical processes, clinical Kaizen teams are charged with the task of deconstructing, analyzing and reconstructing critical workflows to maximize the creation of value for the patient. With its roots in the Toyota Production System, Kaizen provides cross-functional teams with a structured approach to process decomposition and waste reduction by allowing the team to systematically analyze process performance in an objective and comprehensive fashion. In practice, this typically involves engaging in activities, such as value-stream mapping, “trystorming,” simulation and direct...

6 May 2016

Physician Spotlight: Gerald A. Maccioli, MD, FCCM

Dr. Maccioli serves as Sheridan’s Chief Quality Officer. Before joining Sheridan in 2015, he practiced Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine for more than 27 years. He served as Director of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) for North Carolina and as Chair of the ASA Section on Education and Research. He also served as President of the Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists. As the Chair of the American Medical Association (AMA) Committee of Innovators, Dr. Maccioli played an influential role in developing comprehensive, progressively responsible healthcare reform strategies. He continues to serve on the AMA’s Quality Improvement Advisory Committee (QIAC) as well as the Committee on Practice...

4 May 2016

Overcrowded EDs and Population Health

Unsurprisingly, yet another study has linked ED inefficiency with poorer population health outcomes. This time from George Washington University, the study found that the most crowded quartile of EDs had a much lower rate of adoption for common techniques that reduce overcrowding, such as bedside registration and surgical schedule smoothing. This finding is made more concerning by the fact that adoption of these techniques is increasing across hospitals as a whole. While the general adoption trend is positive, the hospitals most in need are also the ones improving the slowest.

Dr. Jesse Pines, a professor of emergency medicine and health policy at GWU and one of the study's authors, believes that a lack of resources...

25 April 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 5: Elevating Transformative Vision

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published an article in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the final in a five part series that critique and nuance each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

Be...

12 April 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 4: Effectively Celebrating Progress

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published an article in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the fourth in a series of five that critique and nuance each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

Daily...

29 March 2016

The Drive for Process Improvement Part 3: Commit to Your Vision

Three leaders from the International Consortium for Health Outcomes Measurement (ICHOM) – a nonprofit founded by organizations known for progressive business practices and rigorous research: Harvard Business School, The Boston Consulting Group and the Karolinska Institutet – published in Harvard Business Review that analyzes the success some healthcare organizations have had in implementing patient outcomes measurement programs. The article lists five steps that should be applied when implementing major change or process improvement within healthcare systems. This blog post is the third in a series of five that critique and nuance each ICHOM step from a Kaizen perspective.

Preparing to Drive...

22 March 2016

Elevating Patient Care and Satisfaction at St. Mary’s Medical Center

St. Mary’s Medical Center in Missouri began working with Sheridan in 2013 to help improve its emergency department’s workflow, staff communication and patient satisfaction. Ken Colaric, M.D., the hospital’s director of emergency services, worked with Sheridan to organize a Kaizen event to identify the critical constraints that were increasing patients’ length of stay. Kaizen is a lean process improvement methodology and one of the key tools that Sheridan provides to its partner facilities.

Through the Kaizen, St. Mary’s used input from a multidisciplinary group of stakeholders to create processes that cut down on wait times, duplicated efforts and inefficiencies. The department implemented...

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