Healthcare Success Stories

Reviving Healthcare – An Article Review

Friday, August 6th, 2010

Reviving Healthcare[1]– Article Review

Artilce ReviewThis article[1] talks about Don Berwick M.D. who is being considered to lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. Through his work at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement he has advanced quality in healthcare.

His feelings is that clinicians simply do not think about the delivery of healthcare as happening with in a system. Doctors give great diagnosis. But that diagnosis is only as good as the system that brought him the data to review. There are labs and technicians that get sent materials to analysis. What if things get mixed up or not done well. Those are all part of the system that the clinician does not think about.

Berwick’s long time vision as a solution to Americans healthcare is a three pronged systems approach. These three prongs, called the Triple Aim, are:

  1. “Improve the individual experience of care.”
  2. “Improving the health of populations.”
  3. “Reducing the per capita costs of care for populations.”

The Barriers he sees to this success include:

  • “Supply-Driven Demand.”
  • “New technologies, including many with limited impact on outcomes.”
  • “Physician-centric care.”
  • Little or no Foreign competition to spur domestic change.”

If we agree that the current U.S. healthcare system is unsustainable and that the Triple Aim is the right approach there are three design components needed to reach success:

  1. “Recognition of a population as the unit of concern.”
  2. “Externally supplied policy constraints.”
  3. “An integrator to focus and coordinate services to help the population on all three dimensions at once.”

I really do feel that the US healthcare industry can not be sustained and needs major changes. This article make me feel that Berwick would be a great head for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and at last some one might start fixing this industry. I hope he succeeds.

As always if, you have questions or comments please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below, emailing me, calling me, or leaving a comment on my website.


Bersbach Consulting
Peter Bersbach
Six Sigma Master Black Belt
http://sixsigmatrainingconsulting.com
peter@bersbach.com
1.520.829.0090



[1] Charles Kenney, “Reviving Healthcare,” Quality Progress, Vol. 43, No. 7, July 2010, pp. 30-35,
http://www.asq.org/quality-progress/2010/07/innovation/reviving-healthcare.html

Note: The website above is on the American Society for Quality website and to access it you need to be a member. But there are way to purchase the article from ASQ.

2009 Malcolm Baldridge Award Recipients

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Created by Congress in 1987, the Baldrige National Quality Program
exists to help organizations like yours improve their performance and
succeed in the competitive global marketplace. We are the first and
only public-private partnership and Presidential award program
dedicated to improving U.S. organizations.

This Website shows the latest winner of the 2009 Malcolm Baldridge Awards.

Manufacturing – Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technology

Small Business – MidwayUSA

Health Care – AtlantiCare and Heartland Health

Nonprofit – VA Cooperative Studies Program Clinical Research Pharmacy Coordinating Center

Check them out and Congratulations to all !!



Bersbach Consulting

Peter Bersbach

Six Sigma Master Black Belt

http://sixsigmatrainingconsulting.com

peter@bersbach.com

1.520.829.0090

System Reformers of the Health Care Industry

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009


cost cuttingI just finished a reading an article titled “The “Third School” for Controlling Health Care Costs?”[1] and I found it very exciting to read. In it, he talks about “System Reformers” that once were focused on improving Quality and now are focused on Quality and controlling costs. I have worked in manufacturing for years and our Quality Organizations were just that focused on “Improving Quality”. In today’s world that has changed for the better with the coming of Six Sigma a process focused on improving quality and reducing costs. I believe these reformers Altman talks about are the same.


I know some people do not like the words Six Sigma and that is because what they were told was Six Sigma did not work. There maybe several definition out there but the one I know that is working is Six Sigma is a 5 step process based on facts and data focused on customer value to grow the business. Six Sigma Belts are change agents/ System Reformers trying to create value for the customer/ patient by reducing costs (which speaks to management) and improving value (Quality). Even in manufacturing Quality Improvement never got a high priority until Quality Professionals started talking money.


I agree with Altman real cost containment and control never really comes from outside the box through regulations by the “Regulators” nor from competing health care plans and informed consumers per the “Marketeers”. It has to come from inside the box through what he calls the “System Reformer”. The True Reformer/ Change agent will be focused on creating value for all stakeholders (Stockholders, Employees/ Care Givers, and Customers/ Patients). They have to create value, NOT costs, and it can be done one area/ company at a time. The big issue will be working these change across different organizations. Again, though, manufacturing did this by working with its suppliers and customers to help them apply the same to their groups.


I believe that all of the serious questions he mentions about the System Reformers success can be addressed. Will the System Reformer approach be successful? I would answer YES! At least to all that embrace its approach. The results, from these companies, will drive others to do the same. That is how Six Sigma became as successful as it has. At first many company did not embraces Six Sigma but with time and successes at their competition, many now do. And a lot of those are in the Fortune 500.


I see the System Reformer as the only true way to get cost under control.


Peter Bersbach

Six Sigma Master Black Belt

Bersbach Consulting

From Process to Profits

1.520.829.0090






[1] Drew Altman, PhD, “The “Third School” for Controlling Health Care Costs?”, The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation www.kff.org , Oct 29 2009, http://www.kff.org/pullingittogether/102909_altman.cfm

Other Healthcare Successes:

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

SSM Health Care*

This St. Louis-based nonprofit health care system increased its market share to 18% over three years while three of its five competitors lost market share.

Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City (SLH) *

Financial performance steadily increased for three years, and client satisfaction scores ranked Saint Luke’s 35th out of 4,500 hospitals nationwide.

Thibodaux Regional Medical Center*

At this Southern Louisiana acute-care facility, an accounts-receivable project increased cash flow by $2 million per year, inventory reduction achieved annual cost savings of $450,000, and a medication-management project decreased defects by 42%.

Baptist Hospital, Inc.*

Overall patient satisfaction for this Florida-based health care provider rose into the 99th percentile for several years; staff satisfaction rose from 47% to 84% over five years.

* Information from American Society For Quality (ASQ)
http://www.asq.org/healthcare-use/why-quality/case-for-quality.html

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Application of Six Sigma to reduce Medical Errors*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

At Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, errors with IV medication drips and laboratory processing and results reporting were causing serious problems related to effective patient treatment.

After diagnosing and quantifying the problem, a new process was implemented which had a significant impact on customer care. Level 1 discrepancies (<1 ml/hr) fell from 47.4% to 14%. Level 2 discrepancies (1-5 ml/hr) fell from 21.1% to 11.8% and level 3 discrepancies (>5ml/hr) fell from 15.8% to 2.9%.

Left untreated, these types of problems can result in poor customer care, longer treatment and recovery times, increased costs, and reduced profits.

*Cathy Buck RN MSN, “Application of Six Sigma to Reduce Medical Errors,” ASQ’s 55th Annual Quality Congress, Charlotte, NC, Vol. 55, No. 0, May 2001, pp. 739-742,  http://www.asq.org/qic/display-item/index.html?item=14740

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Toward Error Free Lab Work*:

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

The North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health systems were experiencing miscommunication and procedural problems in their lab work. After researching the problems and instituting new processes and procedures, the company reduced average lab test processing times enough to be able to increase processing volumes 43% without adding additional personnel.

In addition:

  • Processing and analysis error rates dropped from about 1 in 100 tests, to 1 in 300 tests.
  • Patient satisfaction ratings went up.
  • Improvements resulted in a positive financial impact of $339,000 a year due to increased revenue and cost reduction.

*Nancy B. Riebling, Susan Condon and Daniel Goprn, “Toward Error Free Lab Work”; Six Sigma Forum Magazine, (November 2004), 23, www.asq.org/qic/display-item/index.pl?item=19709

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!

Faster Lab Results Using Six Sigma and Lean*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

Doctors at the Pocono Medical Center were hampered in their ability to treat patients due to not receiving lab results until late morning. Once the problem was identified, a project team outlined and implemented new procedures to speed the lab process.

Within about six weeks, doctors began to receive blood test results by 6 a.m. for critical care patients and by 7 a.m. for all other patients. Project results also extended outside of the laboratory, contributing to a decrease in overall patient length of stay for the medical center.

*Walter T. Hayes and Carmine J. Cerra, with Mary Williams, “Faster Lab results Using Six Sigma and Lean,” ASQ Making the Case for
Quality, http://www.asq.org/healthcare-use/why-quality/case-studies.html

How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me. 

Faster Turnaround Time*

Friday, June 26th, 2009

Bersbach Consulting LLC provides Six Sigma training coaching and support across Arizona, including the Tucson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale areas. At this time we would like to thank our friends and clients for their support. If you have landed here looking for our Six Sigma training, coaching or support services in Tucson, then please follow one of these links  Six Sigma Online Training or Six Sigma Classroom Training.

North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY, was experiencing noticeable delays in bed assignment turn around time. This was becoming an ever-growing problem due to increased patient volumes caused by the aging of the local population.

After the problem had been identified and quantified, the Hospital set a goal to reduce the average turnaround time from 226 minutes to 120 minutes.

After an improved process was implemented, average turnaround times dropped to 69 minutes, resulting in improved patient service and satisfaction, improved employee morale, and much more efficient utilization of hospital resources.



*Angelo Pellicone, Maude Martocci, “Faster Turnaround Time,” Quality Progress, Vol. 39, No. 3, March 2006, pp. 31-36,
http://www.asq.org/qic/display-item/index.pl?item=20434


How much are these problems costing you each year? Would you like to be able to cost-effectively deal with these issues and move more money to the bottom-line while also improving employee morale, customer service and customer satisfaction? Contact us!

If your business is located anywhere in the World including the US, Tucson, Oro Valley , Oracle, Phoenix, Glendale, and Scottsdale, Arizona or beyond and you would like to learn more about our Six Sigma training, coaching and support services please call Bersbach Consulting LLC at 1-520-721-2077 or SKYPE me  Now!