Quoteworthy
We only get better if we are constantly learning. Learning together includes challenging each other, sharing new ideas, and identifying opportunities for improvement. When we share in collaborative, respectful ways, incredible things happen.
Linda Tyler

Most Recent
How an Avalanche Highlighted the Importance of Root Cause Analysis

Utah's value engineers turn any real-world event into a cause for improvement. Recently, senior value engineer Will McNett and a friend were swept up in an avalanche, traveling 50 yards down the southeast face of Albright Peak in Grand Teton National Park. What many would consider terrifying, Will considered a cause for observation, investigation, analysis, and improvement.

Patient Experience 101: Engaging Your Team With Data

Improvement in patient experience is often the hardest part of managers’ jobs. It takes consistent work engaging your team. There are no shortcuts. In this occasional series, we’ll be sharing the lessons learned the hard way from people working on the front lines to deliver care. In this post, Urology and Pelvic Care outpatient services manager Leslie Bardsley gives practical advice for involving your entire team in improvement.

How the Burn Trauma ICU Eliminated Central Line Infections

Is zero possible? In the case of central line infections, the answer was once no. A CLABSI (central line associated blood stream infection) was once considered a car crash, or an expected inevitability of care. When University of Utah’s Burn Trauma Intensive Care Unit started treating CLABSIs like a plane crash, or a tragedy demanding in-depth investigation and cultural change, zero became possible.

What’s a Ski Season with No Snow?

Value engineer Cindy Spangler has shared her camping and canyoneering expertise with Accelerate in the past. But this winter, her preparation may have done us in: a big purchase of new ski equipment has led to a lackluster snow season. Or has it? Cindy reviews why correlation does not imply causation.

The Science of Scheduling

Delivering a great health care experience is only possible with one crucial component: reliable scheduling. It’s such an essential part of efficient operations, in fact, that the University of Utah Health created an access optimization team to help providers across the system.

Lean Behind the Scenes: Sterile Processing

Sterile Processing runs a lean operation, delivering millions of instruments to University of Utah Health’s procedural teams. Director of value engineering Steve Johnson, assisted by the video wizardry of Charlie Ehlert, sheds light on our system’s unseen infection prevention heroes.

A Framework to Measure Value-added Time in Health Care

The dojo welcomes guest author and senior value engineer Will McNett with a deep dive into clinic capacity utilization. McNett borrows from manufacturing to offer a framework to measure and increase what really matters to patients: time spent with their provider.

Dr. Sean Stokes on Improving Opioid Prescribing Patterns

Using improvement methodology to solve one piece of America’s opioid epidemic. Dr. Sean Stokes and team used the practice of scoping to focus on one population and one procedure to achieve manageable, measurable improvement.

Can Netflix Help Us Choose a Physician?

Dr. Kyle Bradford Jones examines the Netflix algorithm for user preference as a model for developing provider selection tools that match patient values with their care needs.

How UNI Decreased Delay to Admission (And Improved Team Engagement)

Want to show your new employees that you respect them and you’re committed to making things better? Social work manager Kevin Curtis used University of Utah Health’s value improvement methodology to confront one of the most common challenges in health care—getting patients from the ED to a bed. Using concepts from lean and six sigma, Curtis identified waste, prioritized root causes, and fostered his team’s shared purpose in getting patients quickly to care.

Avoiding a Fashion Faux-pas: 6 Steps To the Perfect Tie Length

Improvement science is about making everyday tasks easier and faster. This week, Steve uses the 6-phase value improvement methodology to build a highly-reliable morning routine.

Check Sheets: One Weird Trick to Gather Meaningful Data

This week, Steve describes a genius (yet simple) data collection tool: the check sheet. Colline Prasad and the SSTU nursing team used check sheets in their work reducing call lights, a project that turned out to be a triple-win; an intervention that improved patient perception of responsiveness, increased patient safety, and decreased nurse distraction.