Monday, December 22, 2014

Insight in Leadership in the Medical Practice

In the November issue of the Harvard Business Review an article by Sawhney and Khosla identify some interesting questions on where to look for new ideas. I believe that we should not only focus on the “problems” that we face but more importantly look at what opportunities there are for us to better serve patients. The glass is always half full. Here are some of their insightful questions:
  • Is your market share or revenue abnormally low or high in a geographical market? 
  • Are you having unusual success with a specific customer (e.g., patient) segment? 
  • What’s most frustrating about your products, processes, or workplace? 
  • What bothers you personally about your business (yes your practice is a business)? 
  • What work-arounds do people use to get their jobs done? 
  • What beliefs do you hold sacred? 
  • Why do things have to be this way? 
  • What opportunities would be opened up if we abandoned those assumptions and beliefs? 
  • What are the social, cultural and environmental factors that affect your preferences and behaviors? 
  • How can you create solutions that respond to those factors? 
Take a look at these questions at your next board or leadership meeting. Openly discuss them and develop strategies to transition your practice for a brighter future.

Monday, December 1, 2014

PC and FMEA (not FEMA)

At the recent MGMA pre-con where I conducted a Yellow Belt Certificate program there were some interesting testimonials on some of the tools that we talk about in our Lean Six Sigma programs.

One practice manager, who attended a similar program last year went back to the practice and implemented the Project Charter idea. She got other members of her management team to look use them and now relies on them! Her model is to identify projects, complete the form and use that as a guide for project focus and completion as well as an effective communication tool. She doesn’t worry about how things are going but accesses an internal drive to check on things. If she has questions, sees they miss a milestone she can follow up with that manger. She is able to inform physician leaders and others on the status of projects without having to track down and interrupt others related to the projects.

Another manager noted that they used the FMEA – Failure Mode and Effects Analysis model. I have trouble with this since I went through Katrina and have a tendency to pronounce it FEMA! They identify an issue and bring the team together to brainstorm the steps noted around the problem. The list is developed then they use the Severity, Occurrence and Detection ranking system to identify the one or two aspects to address first. Basically, the FMEA model has the team assign a number from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest to the issue. So you consider how severe it issue is, frequency of occurrence and how easy or difficult it is to detect it. The SOD assigned numbers are multiplied together to get an overall ranking of each issue. The higher the number the greater the priority of effort to address it.

The key point here is that there are a number of projects that are faced in the practice daily and that the tools available under Lean are there for you to use. Keep reviewing the tools and apply as appropriate.