It's All About the Data

It's All About the Data
It's All About the Data

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lean Healthcare - A recent voyage

Healthcare is going through a transformation.  Obamacare is one of the changes.  Other healthcare organizations are promoting the notion of "lean healthcare".  See the following website to get the basics:(

I had the chance to use a hospital touting lean healthcare.  The hospital's goal was stated as "to provide a better user experience and reduce waste".  Luckily, I was not the patient. 

Without going into all the aspects of the experience, here are my observations/concerns:
  • Why ask all the patients to make sure they show up at the same time, only to not have enough administrative staff to check them in?
  • If HIPPA has been around for a while now, why is the queuing process of patients so bad?
  • This hospital used barcodes on the patient tags, but absolutely no one scanned the barcode.  Instead, the process used was to ask me (I was the designated driver) the same set of questions over and over.  I must say they had no sense of humor when I varied my answer slightly each time.
  • Lastly, this was the question that drove me up a wall -  "why are we here every 5 minutes of the pre-operative process?" - does not seem very lean to me.

Okay, so what is my point?  If healthcare, with all its revenue sources, and in general, a fairly consistent and repetitive pre-operative process has these issues, how can other businesses have any chance of being 'leaner'?

  • First, nothing beats employee 'buy-in' to the process.  100% buy-in.
  • Second, the existing process must change to become lean.  You can not force the existing process to be lean, by simply calling it 'lean'.
  • Have a plan and execute on it - get customer feedback (the healthcare organization did not want mine).
  • Lastly, continuous improvement is required.

It is not an easy journey, but  the reward is worth the effort.

David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Empowered vs. Entitled vs. Embittered

Which are you?  Your daily actions end up stating where you stand in this continuum more than what you say. 

Some quick definitions (Free Online Dictionary):

Empowered - To equip or supply with an ability; To enable
Entitled - To furnish with a right or claim to something
Embittered - To arouse bitter feelings

Here are the general characteristics of each:

I can lead by example
People should just do what I tell them to do
I could do better than those 'guys'
I want to pass my knowledge to others
Who can I convince to mentor me
Learn it on your own, I am too busy
Where are my weaknesses, how can I improve?
Who is going to pay for this, do I get overtime?
I got other things to do
I need to address these challenges, I will step up
Who is going to tell me what to do next
Not me, someone else, not my job
Managing Up (blog)
I will learn to manage up in a mutually beneficial way
It is my manager's issue to reach out to me
I would rather not talk to my manager

It has been said that the group born between 1979 and 1994 is the 'entitled' generation.  I don't know if that is true, I have found a lot of entitled and embittered team members of all ages.  The only difference is the embittered team members stay mostly quiet in discussions, while the entitled team members are very vocal.


It isn't easy to change your spots, and it is especially difficult to change if you have been working at the same place for a period of time.  If you are up for a challenge, here are the steps to get to 'empowered' in your existing job, or your next job:

  1. First, make a list of the embittered and/or entitled behavior you are aware of.  You won't be able to change immediately, but acknowledgement is the first step to change.

  1. Empowerment is all about taking charge of your life.  This doesn't mean forgetting about work, but it is about focusing on how you can get better at your job and make your company stronger.  This mutually beneficial way of improvement is the key to empowerment.

  1. Take a leap (it involves risk); think about how you can provide value to the company, take ownership of that value proposition, and drive toward a successful completion no matter what obstacles - that's empowerment.  You will feel great about the accomplishment and change the mindset of those around you.

David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.