Solutions for Improvement
Robust Process Improvement® (RPI®) is a blended performance improvement model that incorporates Lean Six Sigma and formal change management—methods that address efficiency, empowerment, quality and the behavioral side of change. Teams use RPI to identify opportunities for improvement, come up with recommendations, and own and implement the solutions based on the needs of our organization.
Catholic Health partnered with The Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare to implement a training program that allows the organization to train employees on the way to approach improving how things are done in a health care organization so that patients are treated safely and receive high quality health care services. This training program is referred to as the Robust Process Improvement®/Change Management Program.
To avoid medical errors and ensure patients are safe, health care organizations must constantly examine how things are done and provide a better way of administering health care services. Changing the way you do things can be a difficult process for people. It can leave people uncomfortable or fearful because every change is a new beginning, and with new beginnings, the old ways come to an end.
The Robust Process Improvement®/Change Management program is a set of ideas and guidelines that are designed to increase the likelihood of successfully changing how you improve quality of care and patient safety in an organization. The training provides employees with the ability to create an environment where people can agree that the need for change is the right thing to do, help those who have trouble with change feel more comfortable with the things that need to be done, and develop a way of effectively communicating the plan for the change and why it is happening.
To date, Catholic Health has trained hundreds of employees on Robust Process Improvement®/Change Management techniques. These techniques have been utilized across the organization to improve health outcomes for patients such as by reducing hospital acquired infections, reducing patient falls within the organization, and other important aspects of patient safety.
Catholic Health continues to train our employees and utilize these tools to ensure that we deliver quality of care services to our patients.
Six Sigma is a business initiative used by Catholic Health that applies performance improvement methodologies to improve quality of care. Using Six Sigma principles in our health care system helps increase patient satisfaction by reducing defects and variation and making procedures more streamlined and less costly. In health care environments, a defect is defined as a factor that leads to patient dissatisfaction. Examples of defects range from frustrating events, such as a long wait to see a doctor, to more serious events such as an incorrect diagnosis or treatment that could cause harm to the patient. A systematic approach is used to eliminate the causes of the defects, getting as close to “zero defects” as possible.
All organizations, including health care organizations, are composed of a series of processes or sets of actions intended to create value for those who use or depend on them. The core idea of Lean involves determining the value of any given process by distinguishing value added steps from non-value-added steps, and eliminating waste so that every step adds value to the process. Lean is about removing anything the patient is not willing to pay for. Examples include mistakes that need correction, unnecessary process steps, movement of materials or people without purpose and unnecessary waiting.
Both Six Sigma and Lean engage front line employees in the process and the robust process ensures that the results are optimized and sustained. Six Sigma and Lean have been used at Catholic Health to improve patient care by:
- Reducing the number of errors in documentation made by physicians, nurses and technicians
- Accelerating reimbursement for insurance claims
- Improving patient outcomes
- Reducing falls
- Improving patient outcomes