Quoteworthy
Shared decision-making with patients, though often time-consuming, creates a checks-and-balances approach between patient and doctor to achieve a shared solution.
Kyle Bradford Jones

Most Recent
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.

Canyoneering Close Call: Always Have a Safety Plan

Engineer Cindy Spangler compares canyoneering and surgery and identifies a common thread: the need for high-reliability processes. She describes how surgical time-out, a quick huddle to debrief before surgery, can serve as a useful model for reducing the risk of harm in canyoneering.

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.

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.

Standard Work in Health Care: Examples (Part 2)

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): Course Archives

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.

Just-in-Time Information with Ken Kawamoto

If Apple Maps and Garmin can provide just-in-time information, why can’t health care? Lots of legitimate reasons, but we’re making significant strides. This week, the Dojo goes moto as Ken Kawamoto, Associate Chief Medical Information Officer and Director of Knowledge Management and Mobilization, helps us understand how we’re creating better information at the right time.

How a Rehab Unit Reduced Overtime Cost (And Made Shift Report More Efficient)

Improving value in health care means tackling long-standing problems. These problems have seemingly simple solutions, but just won’t stay fixed. Fixing the old problems of health care requires new problem solving skills. Nurse manager Jamie D’Ausilio used University of Utah Health’s value improvement methodology to confront one of the most common management challenges—unnecessary overtime. Using concepts from lean and six sigma, D’Ausilio identified waste, prioritized root causes, and engaged her team to design interventions to create new workflow design.