Aug 06 2010

USERS: A six sigma discussion about “patient centerd” care

Posted by reinkefj in USERS

ROFL! Yesterday, before Frau was given her release, yet another hospital manager came by to talk about the patient’s perception of her care. Since Frau was sleeping, the lady “nursing director” talked to me. She was taking names of did a good or bad job. Since both patients in the room were “unavailable” (i.e., sleeping), guess I was selected to be a proxy.

I’m not good with names, but this floor was better in general than the CCU or the last floor she was on two weeks ago.

I dusted off my “consulting hat” and asked “Why six sigma?” SHe didn’t answer but asked what my Six Sigma background was. See asking “why” there times is how Six Sigma-ites get to the real reason why you’re doing something. I told her that I had some minor experience in it and challenged her about answering the question.

Ahhh, Hah!

We got into a discussion of how the technology, process, or people could be deployed that would have transformed that into a patient centric focus.

Another example was the call bell that neither differentiates between urgency or type of need.

Another example was there’s no feedback loop to collection and action what the patient sees.

She gave up saying “they didn’t have …” because it was painful obvious even to her that they do NOT want “patient focused” because they have all their processes. So be honest and call it “processed focused care”.


My observation is, imho, they don’t want to change. They want the praise that comes with being Six Sigma, but they don’t want to do the heavy lifting. My experience with TQM, Six Sigma, and other quality initiatives is that the problem is ALWAYS leadership. They may “talk the talk” but they don’t “walk the walk”. You can put up all the funny inspirational signs on the wall you want, but people are smart. They see your mixed messages and adapt.

In this case, it is NOT “patient centric care”.

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