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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last time in the Dojo, the topic was standard work. This time, Steve gives local examples of great standard work within our walls. Though we still have a long way to go, we’re off to a great start.
Value Improvement Leaders (VIL) is a 13 week leadership course offered at University of Utah Health that teaches the skills needed to provide sponsorship and leadership for value improvement work. Principles taught are taken from Lean, Six Sigma, and PDSA methodologies. The course explains theory, provides healthcare examples of many specific leadership techniques, and uses an applied learning model. Not everyone can take the course, but everyone can follow along with the lesson plan.