When Your Role is to Coach Up in Your Organization

Posted on by Karen Flom

Often improvement team members are in the position of coaching someone who is a senior leader in the organization and who may even have positional authority over them. This can often be nerve-racking and make these coaches feel like they are not equipped to succeed. Continue reading →

Five Benefits of Practicing Kata

Smiling multiethnic staff at the wall with stickers on a meeting in the company.

Many organizations we work with have management systems and problem-solving processes and tools already in place. They often wonder how and where kata fits into what they are already doing. Kata does not replace these tools; instead kata can be used as an opportunity to enhance the processes and methods that you are currently using.

There are two patterns of kata, improvement kata and coaching kata. Improvement kata is simply a routine to engage a team around process improvement, whereas coaching kata is a method or routine for coaching a person through problem-solving.  Continue reading →

Bringing Intention to Life

Posted on by Paul Pejsa

Christie Clinic Debrief2

Healthcare leaders all have the best intentions to become better leaders and transform the culture at our organizations. Maybe there are behaviors we want to work on, or maybe we just need to get to gemba more often. The problem is that things tend to get in our way, there is always some other work to be done that we may deem as a higher priority. But what is a higher priority than the culture of our organizations?

We need to make the time and be intentional about making a change. Continue reading →

Inspiring Healthcare Leaders, Accelerating Change

Close up of woman hands making frame gesture with sunrise on moutain, Female capturing the sunrise, Future planning, sunlight outdoor.

Welcome to the Catalysis Blog!

You may recall from science class that catalysis is the acceleration of a reaction by a catalyst. We chose that name because our goal is to inspire healthcare leaders and accelerate change throughout the healthcare industry; change to deliver higher value for patients.  Continue reading →

Communication Experimentation

On March 30, 2008, the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value started writing blog posts highlighting successful transformations of healthcare systems.  Over the course of the past eight years, the depth and scope of the Center Point Blog has widened to include the entire spectrum of payment, delivery and transparency.  And as the landscape for improving healthcare has changed, we have changed with it, to supply the needed information to help guide our readers with objective and trusted viewpoints. Continue reading →

Holiday Lean

Posted on by CATALYSIS

The holidays at the end of the year are a time of reflection.  During this time we pause to look back and take stock of significant events in our lives during the previous 11 months.  This year I would like to offer some of my personal reflections from my collaboration with many committed, visionary, and courageous industry leaders and coaches.  Here they are, in no particular order:    Continue reading →

What if Everyone in Healthcare Applied the First Five Principles of Lean?

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Would healthcare be better if everyone understood and applied the five lean principles described in the book Lean Thinking? As part of our team development at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value, several of us have embarked on the process of taking the Lean Bronze Certification examination. To prepare, we are studying the various books that are required reading. As I was reading Lean Thinking I was struck by how much of our current healthcare system goes against these five simple principles.  Continue reading →

A Letter to Physician Leaders

Posted on by CATALYSIS

Jim Marks, the Chief of Staff and Chief of Anesthesia at San Francisco General Hospital (SFGH), in this open letter to his colleagues, details the importance of teaching the principles and thinking behind lean management, the work ahead of his organization, and what they’ve accomplished so far. The shift in thinking required to switch to a lean management system is difficult work, but as he explains below, it’s well worth the effort. Continue reading →

There is More to Performance Management Than Just Tools and Technology

Posted on by Brian Veara

I come across many healthcare organizations that struggle with performance management. What I hear and see are intelligent, dedicated people all trying to help their organization improve. Most EMR implementations do not include a clinical business intelligence strategy. Vendors have come in and convinced the organization’s leaders that their software can somehow automatically improve performance. The software is so easy to use it will be self-service. The vendor will demonstrate the ad-hoc data discovery capabilities that anyone can do. All the organization has to do is submit their data and the improvements will begin. Oh there’s also a large expense of at least $250,000 just to start. Many organizations that have spent much more than that and are not seeing any significant improvement. Why?

There is more to performance management than just tools and technology. The ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value has formed a peer-to-peer learning network called the Clinical Business Intelligence Network, or CBIN for short. Our shared learning has led us to a deployment sequence in performance management of Mindset, Skillset, and Toolset. While technology is very important, the deployment of technology without the proper organizational mindset and skillset will not be successful. The analytics must be supporting an improvement methodology like lean. The organization must be skilled in producing, consuming, and using data to take actions on insight.

Our network has developed a formal assessment process to help an organization build an actual strategy and roadmap. We also have designed a skills matrix development process to help accelerate an organization’s analytical journey. The focus is on developing and maturing the mindset and skillsets needed to be successful in actual performance improvement. While we certainly discuss technology, the main emphasis of our learning, sharing and connecting, is on people and processes.

There are several symptoms of a performance management system in need of help: Is your organization improving at the desired pace? Are you spending a lot of money on tools and not satisfied with the actual results? Do you have a strategy and roadmap for organizational performance management? Is your analytical maturity focused on latent performance measures? There is help available. Start by reading Management on the Mend by John Toussaint, MD. This book describes the model, step by step, through people in 11 organizations who are transforming into high performance healthcare organizations. Please join the Clinical Business Intelligence Network and our other peer-to-peer learning network, the Healthcare Value Network to learn, share, and connect with others who are also on this transformation journey.

Brian Veara, Program Director
ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value

Prioritizing Your Work: What to Work, When

Posted on by Kim Barnas

Post 4 of 4 in a Blog Series by Kim Barnas

I’ve visited a number of organizations and one of the recurring problems I’ve seen is lack of an effective prioritization process. I think this is paramount. In this world of competing priorities and regulation we must have a way to focus on the “vital few,” demonstrate and stabilize the improvement, and move on to the next “vital few.” We will accomplish more sustainable solutions with added focus.

There are three things you need to have: Continue reading →