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Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2016 Apr;42(4):170-83.

Engaging Frontline Leaders and Staff in Real-Time Improvement.

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1
Kaizen Promotion Office, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The relationship of staff satisfaction and engagement to organizational success, along with the integral influence of frontline managers on this dimension, is well established in health care and other industries. To specifically address staff engagement, Virginia Mason Medical Center, an integrated, single-hospital health system, developed an approach that involved leaders, through the daily use of standard work for leaders, as well as staff, through a Lean-inspired staff idea system.

METHODS:

Kaizen Promotion Office (KPO) staff members established three guiding principles: (1) Staff engagement begins with leader engagement; (2) Integrate daily improve- ment (kaizen) as a habitual way of life not as an add-on; and (3) Create an environment in which staff feel psycho- logically safe and valued. Two design elements--Standard Work for Leaders (SWL) and Everyday Lean Ideas (ELIs) were implemented.

RESULTS:

For the emergency department (ED), an early adopter of the staff engagement work, the challenge was to apply the guiding principles to improve staff engagement while improving quality and patient and staff satisfaction, even as patient volumes were increasing. Daily huddles for the KPO staff members and weekly leader rounds are used to elicit staff ideas and foster ELIs in real time. Overall progress to date has been tracked in terms of staff satisfaction surveys, voluntary staff turnover, adoption of SWL, and testing and implementation of staff ideas. For example, voluntary turnover of ED staff decreased from 14.6% in 2011 to 7.5% in 2012, and 2.0% in 2013. Organizationwide, at least 800 staff ideas are in motion at any given time, with finished ones posted in an idea supermarket website.

CONCLUSION:

A leadership and staff engagement approach that focuses on SWL and on capturing staff ideas for daily problem solving and improvement can contribute to organization success and improve the quality of health care delivery.

PMID:
27025577
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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