Building continuous improvement at new facilities

When OSF HealthCare brings a new hospital into the Ministry, there is a lot of work that takes place behind the scenes, before and after integration, to ensure optimal operations. That includes incorporating structures that have historically brought value to our facilities, Mission Partners and the people we serve.

At OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center, that meant building a formal Performance Improvement (PI) department for the Chicago metro region. The hospital and its clinics already had a strong foundation of continuous improvement. This foundation was ideal for the implementation of the Regional Performance Improvement Model.

OSF Little Company of Mary now has a regional PI oversight committee to prioritize, approve and measure projects as well as advance the Rapid Improvement Model (RIM). There is also a team of Performance Improvement Specialists and a strategic program manager to support projects at the hospital.

Working together

Understanding OSF Little Company of Mary already had experience using PI tools, we did an assessment on the types of projects they worked on in the past. We had discussions with leaders trained in continuous improvement on what strengths they found in previous methodologies. We also partnered with their data and finance Mission Partners to understand the opportunities they had.

With that, OSF Little Company of Mary formed an oversight committee in about a month. We helped them build a portfolio of work that will allow PI, a part of OSF Innovation, to be embedded into their operations. We also trained three front line leaders to facilitate our Rapid Improvement Model projects.

To bring the team on, we used experienced Ministry PI specialists and strategic program managers to transfer knowledge around OSF PI concepts. Having seasoned PI experts as part of training allowed leadership to see how we operate, what we offer and how we partner with leaders to support teams and departments working on projects.

Partnering with OSF Little Company of Mary leaders, having a transparent relationship and developing a thoughtful onboarding process was critical for us to hit the ground running. Working with leaders in the metro region, we identified our first project and turned it over to operations in two months. The metro region PI team is now supporting another eight new projects.

A great experience

Working with OSF Little Company of Mary leadership has been fantastic. We have weekly meetings where we report out on the progress of our work. They provide feedback, help us drive outcomes and remove any barriers we may face as we complete projects. As a result, the PI team in the metro region can execute projects more quickly.

Partnering with OSF Little Company of Mary on developing their PI structure set the stage for the future. We are not just building relationships; we are building credibility as a partner that will support the region in its growth and repositioning.

Last Updated: March 16, 2021

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About Author: Laura Sarff

Laura is a Director of Performance Improvement for OSF Healthcare. In this role, she is responsible for providing leadership in the deployment of improvement methodologies throughout all clinical and operational functions across OSF HealthCare. In addition, her responsibilities include supporting execution of Ministry strategic initiatives and leadership of the Performance Improvement support model for local initiatives.

Laura has been serving OSF HealthCare since 2002 in varied roles including Medical Office Assistant, Lead Green Belt, Ambulatory EMR Coordinator, Practice Manager, PI Specialist and most recently in the role of Strategic Program Manager.

Laura is married to Ryan and they have four children, Adyson, Parker, Harlow and Asher. In her spare time, Laura enjoys spending time with her family, attending her kids activities and coaching basketball.

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About Author: Nick Howell

Nick Howell is the former Performance Improvement Manager for the Northern and Metro Regions where he supported and expanded PI operations. Nick has many years of experience leading and building teams, and is trained in Six Sigma, Lean and Agile project methodologies. His areas of expertise include quality, financial and operational improvement as well as strategic planning and implementation. Nick holds a B.S. from Eureka College, where he studied Business Administration and Financial Economics.

Nick is an avid Chicago Cubs and Bears fan and in his spare time enjoys running, baking, cooking, and spending time with his family.

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Categories: Innovation