In the fall of 2008, Baystate Health (BH) began its LEAN journey. Key leaders and BH performance improvement professionals underwent LEAN training and began using LEAN tools in selected improvement projects. Integral to this work was identification of value added and non-value added steps in processes to remove waste and improve efficiency. LEAN is a journey not just a process, and our goal over the next few years is to spread the use of these tools. A determining factor for success is input and engagement from frontline staff. Frontline staff knows where inefficiencies and waste are in their processes and they are invaluable in identifying strategies for improvement. LEAN education and culture will become part of the core educational content as well as one of the ways we improve processes and systems across BH entities.
In the fall of 2010, BH began working with Simpler Consulting with the focus on “Value Streams” at Baystate Medical Center. Today there are total of 6 value streams conducting monthly Rapid Improvement Events (RIE). The value streams are Sterile Processing Department (SPD), Hospital Medicine/Inpatient Care, and Revenue Capture and Women’s Service – Obstetrical Care, Observation Patient, and Access to Outpatient Care. These teams have made improvements in key processes, eliminated non-value added process steps, conducted 6S clean-ups (a workplace organization methodology that describes how items are stored and how the new order is maintained), and established new processes to improve communication between physicians and nurses.
The “true north” metrics are focused around human development, quality, timeliness, cost, and growth. A dedicated LEAN Conference Room has been established on Springfield 6 and dedicated LEAN coordinators provide support to this important initiative. The Rapid Improvement Events, in addition to preparation and follow up work, take place in this space. The spread of LEAN thinking will continue throughout the BH entities.
In FY 2013, we continue to work on further development of internal infrastructure and spread of methodologies. We are developing a more formal system to align our improvement work with our strategic objectives. Ongoing improvements to our communications processes and more formal education and training opportunities will serve in helping us spread the Baystate Improvement System across Baystate Health.
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