3 Responses to A Look Inside the Transformation Journey at Saint Agnes Medical Center
I love to hear success stories where True North metrics are the foundation! It truly unites an organization and makes the direction clear so everyone can get on board. I would be interested in which metrics were chosen, how specific or broad they are, and the method used to define them. Congratulations and many more successes to you!
Hey GScott, thank you for the kind words for our humble work out here at Saint Agnes, we have worked hard for the improvements we have achieved thus far and appreciate the recognition.
The true north metrics are absolutely critical in laying out any kind of strategy development and path for a change in culture. Luckily, as a Catholic hospital, we have remained very rooted in our core values and mission statement- these translated very well into our true north metrics, in a target condition and target metrics sort of way. Just as Shingo teaches us, the guiding principles shape the sort of culture that we wish to foster and help us refine our systems to help determine the sort of tools and process changes that will get us to where we need to be.
We knew what kind of hospital we wanted to be and what we valued most, so set our targets accordingly to bring us closer to that vision. Our initial metrics were far-reaching and largely designed to give us an understanding of the work that we do, refining and changing those chosen metrics year over year as we improve and grow. Those early metrics were the ones you might expect at the hospital level, patient satisfaction, throughput metrics like patient length-of-stay in the ED as well as inpatient units, quality metrics like readmission reduction, and more generically business centered metrics on growth and cost reduction through med center visits and cost per discharge, respectively. Each value stream then has its own true north metrics that tie into those for the hospital, then each unit that will then tie into its value stream; this ensures that the work being done on each unit will directly link to the hospital’s own goals.
We also made sure to clearly define our metrics, from definitions to who would be compiling and in what method they will be collected for consistency and reproducibility, where necessary. At first, they were very broad, but now we are getting more zeroed in on those metrics that are true “drivers” of the work, allowing some of the more broad metrics to serve as watch metrics in a grand sense.
As a former Saint Agnes leader I am thrilled to see the progress SAMC is making with Lean. Saint Agnes has a long history of focusing on quality and improvement and it’s great to see that continue. Best of luck to you.
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