Standard Work in Healthcare?

The team here at KPI Fire just got back from the Engineering Lean & Six Sigma conference in San Antonio, Texas. I know many of you couldn’t go so I took some notes! One of those notes that really stuck with me was a presentation by Johanna Ficatier of the Mayo Clinic.

“Why do Healthcare Professionals fight the concept of Standard Work?”

When presenting this to a room of her colleagues this is the most common response.

“You are trying to turn us all into robots. Healthcare doesn’t work like a manufacturing line.”

Lean Six Sigma Standard Work Healthcare

 Then came her rebuttal.

“So how many of you, when you have a family member come to the hospital, cherry pick the nurse, the doctor, the floor, rush the labs through, and so on to ensure they get the best possible care?”

With a room of “guilty as charged” healthcare professionals smirking and nodding she goes in for the knockout punch.

“Why shouldn’t the quality of care be that good with all of our patients? Don’t they all deserve that quality of service and treatment? What if we could standardize all of the good things about the staff that you cherry picked and make that experience every patient’s experience?”

Bright rays of glorious understanding spread like the rising sun over the hospital staff. Standard Work isn’t about turning nurses and physicians into robots. It’s about consistently giving incredible care every day to every patient. It’s about eliminating human error and increasing the odds of quality treatment.

This is Kaizen. Establish a standard of excellence. Work hard to reach that standard. Then raise the bar. It applies to healthcare, manufacturing, IT, hotels, mining companies, and on and on and on.

What an awesome presentation. One of many! I enjoyed all of the speakers at the Engineering Lean & Six Sigma conference. Here’s to everyone striving for excellence in their company through Standard Work and Continuous Improvement!

Cheers,

Cedro Toro