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community hospital journey into lean six sigma article

community hospital journey into lean six sigma article - A...

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A Community Hospital's Journey into Lean Six Sigma KURT STUENKEL, FACHE, AND TAUNYA FAULKNER S U M M A R Y • Theimplementationof Lean Six Sigma and ioo-day workouts throughout the 304-bed Floyd Medical Center community hospital organization has led to sustainable results and a marked change in culture. The organiza- tion-wide learning of such an effort is deep and intense, and to remain focused and successful it must be a priority of top management. The workout method- ology can assist the organization to carry projects to completion and to achieve rapid implementation of desired improvements. Kurt Stuenkel. FACHE, is the president and CEO of Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia. Tauyna Faulkner is a physical therapist and certified Lean Black Belt at Floyd Medical Center. KURT STUENKEL ANDTAUNYA FAULKNER • 5
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The data revealed opportunities/or improuement, including a business case to capture more revenue if the number of patients who leß without Our stand-alone safety net community hos- pital is located in northwest Georgia in a competitive marketplace. In 1996, after board leadership and the CEO changed, a journey to remake the organization began. Community perception was poor, employee morale was low, and strategically, fman- cially, and operationally, 304- bed Floyd Medical Center was struggling. Within the first two years of tackling these chal- , . , J, J , lenges, Floyd set two major hems seen could be reduced. T ^ 1 .1 1 r ^ goals: to be the employer 01 choice and the provider of choice for our region. These were bold goals, since Floyd was neither at the time. BENCHMARKING, AND ITS LIMITATIONS AT FLOYD Better fmancial performance was one of Floyd's key imperatives. The bold goals mentioned above were laudable, but of course the organization had to be finan- cially viable. As we set about to put our financial house in better order, we sought to compare with other organizations. One of the weaknesses of stand-alone commu- nity hospitals is that they must reach out for comparative information, since it is not resident in the organization. We engaged the Health Management Corporation (HMC) to benchmark the organization. Floyd has about $260 million in net revenues and HMC compared us to like facilities throughout all cost centers, as well as clinical areas. Action teams were formed in areas identified with opportuni- ties to reduce cost. Floyd succeeded with benchmarking in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but after doing these comparisons each year for several in a row, the method- ology became a bit stale. About five years later, Floyd began its journey into Lean Six Sigma by investigat- ing what measurement and improvement methodologies other organizations were using. An "aha!" moment occurred when Chip Caldwell, a presenter at an associa- tion meeting, said three important things: benchmarking alone was hard to sustain as an improvement methodology; administra- tors do not speak the language of nurses; and there are five processes that must be addressed for world-class performance.
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community hospital journey into lean six sigma article - A...

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