Tag Archives: sustainability

Four Key Components of Successful Process Improvement Programs-Part 2

Vinarsky, John 2012

by John Vinarsky, Vice President, Executive Solutions, Intalere

In last week’s post, we looked at the first two components of successful process improvement programs. This week we’ll explore getting started and sustainability and growth.

 Getting started

In the early parts of any process improvement program, it is important to not be overly aggressive, but to initially concentrate on what is called in the Lean process “point improvements.” Root out basic problems, make improvements and build a foundation. Try to choose initial projects that are:

–-  Core to the overall facility strategy
–  Ripe for improvement in cost or process
–-  Important because of customer demand

Think about instituting small, quick-to-implement improvements made by staff in a local work unit. They often focus on improving safety, reducing defects, organizing materials or information and saving time and money. The beauty of this thinking is that it immediately delivers small improvements while embedding Lean thinking into staff.

Sustainability and Growth

In time, the transition in process improvement will move to the next step which begins to link processes across departments and develops more standard operations and standard work for leaders. These standard pieces will generally be the foundation of continuous improvement and should be used in some way in your process so that any gains through process improvement are not lost over time.

As your organization “gets better at getting better,” more shared priorities will lead to further alignment of systems measuring performance, alignment of accountability across diverse stakeholders and partnerships that drive a higher level of care.

In conclusion, it is important to emphasize an aligned, accountable, process-driven improvement program is not necessarily about the size of the healthcare organization or complex IT systems needed to harness the data on which some projects can depend. It’s about listening to the customer and the employees, uncovering, implementing and tracking opportunities and creating stakeholder value while creating knowledge – all rooted in metric-based accountability.

To learn more, download the new Intalere white paper, Transforming Your Healthcare Organization Through Process Improvement.

Intalere Member Conference Guest Blog: Promoting Sustainable Health Care

Gary Cohen headshot 3

By Gary Cohen, president and founder of Health Care Without Harm

The Intalere Member Conference kicks off May 19, and will feature industry leaders from all facets of healthcare sharing solutions and best practices with Intalere members.  Gary Cohen, president and founder of Health Care Without Harm will present the session, The Healthier Hospitals Initiative: Driving Sustainability in the Healthcare Supply Chain.

Imagine energy efficient hospitals that save money on energy bills to use for critical patient care, and that promote renewable energy as a community health and resilience strategy. Imagine hospitals that create healthy food environments to help address the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in our country. Imagine hospitals that lead society in reducing toxic chemical exposures, and that are reducing their waste, saving money and improving patient care at the same time. Imagine a health care system that redefines “community benefit” to include improving the living conditions of communities that hospitals serve, and focusing on the prevention of disease through environmental health in addition to treatment. Imagine a health care system that makes up over 20 percent of the U.S. economy and becomes the driving force for safer products, cleaner energy, and healthier communities.

This vision is what the Healthier Hospital Initiative is bringing to reality today. We have created a roadmap for hospitals to embed sustainability into their core business model and are providing technical assistance to offer every hospital in America the chance to participate for free. Health Care Without Harm has joined with our sister organization Practice Greenhealth, The Center for Health Design and 11 of the largest hospital systems in America to create the Healthier Hospital Initiative and drive this movement in health care for healthier hospitals. We already have the participation of more than 600 hospitals and we aim to recruit 2,000 overall and track the progress of the sector in achieving our goals.

This initiative is about accelerating the adoption of sustainable practices across the spectrum of American health care, and building a global learning community so hospitals around the world can learn from each other as they travel on the path toward healthier people, healthier communities and a healthier planet. Health Care Without Harm is proud to be a sponsor of the Healthier Hospital Initiative and eager to embed environmental health and sustainability into the way that health care does business.

Health Care Without Harm is the international campaign for environmentally responsible health care that is a partner in the Healthier Hospitals Initiative.

@HCWithoutHarm @HHIorg