Five Hills quarterly review showcases region’s commitment, enthusiasm

Cheryl Craig - Five Hills Quarterly Review

Talk about ending your week on a high note: On Friday I had the privilege of spending an invigorating day with Cheryl Craig and her colleagues at Five Hills Health Region’s Quarterly Review.  Their energy, enthusiasm, and commitment is amazing!

Next month Five Hills will have 15 people certified as Lean Leaders, with another seven done by March 31, 2014!

52% of physicians who work in Five Hills Health Region have participated in some kaizen activity (e.g., Kaizen Basics, RPIW, etc).

Their use of Daily Visual Management is fantastic. They are paying continual attention to learning and improving DVM via gemba walks and they’re doing a great job of regularly monitoring how folks are doing with DVM (and then providing the necessary coaching).

Five Hills does an admirable job of creating line of sight between the strategic priorities (hoshins) and their improvement efforts.  Their RPIWs appear to be appropriately scoped and framed (here I looked for “reducing lead time in this process from…to…) and the audit data show that the vast majority of the RPIWs are green (i.e., they’re sustaining their improvements).

What was really exciting was that when we went on our gemba walks, I heard process owners speak about the “next PDSAs” — which suggests to me that “follow on” is happening, and that process owners (at least the ones I saw) realize that improvement continues and carries on before and after kaizen events like RPIWs.

I was really impressed with how often I heard Cheryl’s senior team speak about how they must focus on getting into the new hospital (beginning Jan 2015!) AND improving processes before and after people come to hospital. Having service lines in primary health care, mental health, and continuing care, I think, has really reinforced this.

Cheryl’s senior team is incredibly committed to the Lean transformation and to each other.  You can hear and see how much they support each other.  They receive excellent guidance from Colleen Llewellyn (JBA Coach in attendance): she is firm, constructive, respectful, and curious.  Having the same consultant over time can pay dividends in terms of the ability to see the growth – past and future – in a region’s understanding and application of Lean principles and methods.

Like others regions and organizations, Five Hills continues to wrestle with a number of challenges: the work is unrelenting, the pace is intense, and it’s tough getting and keeping physicians involved. But the region is undaunted.

One ‘even better if’ (from my provincial perspective) – and this isn’t exclusive to Five Hills – is: How do we improve the sharing and learning across our health system? Sharing the written reports is great. But I think the real gold comes from actually attending the Quarterly and Semi-Annual Reviews. The host organization benefits (as new ‘eyes’ can offer insights and improvements) and visitors can see and learn some really neat ideas.

Have you had a chance to “go and see” what your health system colleagues are up to?  If not what’s stopping you?

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3 Responses to “Five Hills quarterly review showcases region’s commitment, enthusiasm”

  1. Ngaire Woodroffe Brown
    October 29, 2013 at 9:45 am #

    Great review and feedback. I echo your thoughts on getting out to see what others are doing (the gemba isn’t just about our own workplace – we are a provincial health system!). Are there dates when quarterly etc. reviews are posted, so that others can attend?

    • Anonymous
      October 29, 2013 at 9:51 am #

      Hi Ngaire. Five Hills is hosting its 2-day semi-annual review on March 17-18. Kaizen Promotiin Offices have access to the dates of these events via the Lean Management Centre SharePoint site. What do you suggest in terms of making this information easily available?

      • Ngaire Woodroffe Brown
        October 30, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

        Not sure – how about providing a “Save the Date” advice piece in Better? It would certainly save the various KPO’s each sending out advice. Just a thought…..

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