Driving continuous improvement throughout the Ministry

Addressing operational issues and designing innovative solutions to transform health care requires that leaders have a foundational knowledge of continuous improvement. That’s why OSF HealthCare has prioritized building a culture of performance improvement across the Ministry.

As a key component of these efforts, Ministry Performance Improvement (PI) developed an interactive learning experience to support those in leadership roles across the Ministry develop this competency. The goal is to give these leaders the foundation to drive their own operational or strategic improvements in their respective departments or facilities.

This comprehensive learning experience, deployed during quarterly Leadership Development Institute meetings to more than 2000 leaders, includes two interactive pre-learning modules. These provide an introduction to performance improvement concepts, a deeper dive into some common methodologies, and education on the Performance Improvement journey and evolution at OSF.

During the session, managers, directors, hospital presidents and other executives debrief on the content covered in the pre-learning. They then participate in a mock scenario in small teams to test their ability to select and prioritize work, collect the voice of those they serve and design solutions that meet their needs.

What do they learn?

Although leaders learn the fundamentals of continuous improvement through this learning experience, much of the education comes as leaders apply their skills in a realistic situation.

After the team has chosen a project, they must define the roles and responsibilities of their team members. That includes selecting a process owner, an executive sponsor, a person responsible for change management and someone who will drive the work.

Next, they decide how to collect voice from those who could be impacted by the project and look at data to drive improvement and ensure a focus on value. Learners then design and prioritize solutions, and choose what actions they will take when the data shows the solutions aren’t working. Once a solution is chosen, the final step is to define what it will take to sustain the changes they have made through the solution implementation.

At the end of the learning experience, leaders are encouraged to complete a self-evaluation to identify performance improvement concepts in which they can grow and share this self-evaluation with their one up for discussion. Leaders are also left with an interactive infographic that includes a QR code to a digital resource that contains all of the content they experienced in the pre-learning and in-the-seat sessions.

Why it matters

Leaders with the performance improvement competency have the foundational skills to identify opportunities for improvement and the mindset and confidence to drive rigor around improvement efforts at every level of the organization. This improves our ability as a Ministry to solve core business challenges and exceed the expectations of those we serve and drive efficiency through the Ministry.

We are passionate about supporting leaders across the Ministry, by providing additional experiential learning opportunities that focus on supporting a culture of innovation and growth in innovation competencies as we all work together to transform health care for those we serve.

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About Author: Kelly George

Kelly George, MHA, RD is the Vice President of Performance Improvement for OSF HealthCare. In this role, Kelly is accountable for providing leadership in the deployment of improvement methodologies throughout all clinical and operational functions across OSF HealthCare, as well as other methodologies and/or frameworks that support innovation. In addition, her responsibilities include supporting execution of Ministry strategic initiatives. She assures adherence to best practices in process improvement and innovation methodologies, project management and value recognition while maintaining up-to-date expertise in industry process improvement innovations.

Kelly has been serving OSF HealthCare since 2002 in varied roles including Outpatient Dietitian, 6 Sigma Black Belt, Managing Master Black Belt, Program Manager and most recently in the role of Performance Improvement Manager. Kelly received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She went on to complete her Master of Healthcare Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Kelly is married to Brian and they have three children, Owen, Colin and Holden. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys spending time with her family, running, reading and traveling.

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About Author: Julie Traenkenschuh

Julie is a director of Performance Improvement for OSF HealthCare. In this role, she is responsible for providing leadership in the areas of maturation of the Innovation Portfolio Management Office, Training and Education for Innovation and Performance Improvement and the Discovery and Validation process, which aims to explore viable solutions that may be valuable to pilot at OSF.
Julie has been serving OSF HealthCare since 2015 and has also served as a Performance Improvement Specialist and Strategic Program Manager. Prior to coming to OSF, Julie served in public education in Peoria and the surrounding area as a teacher and administrator.

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Categories: Innovation