President and CEO
-Paul Collins, President and CEO
I am asked from time to time, how and why we chose to adopt lean thinking at STEGH.
The short answer is our promise to “deliver an excellent patient care experience – every time” through a proven approach to continuous improvement. Lean thinking respects people and their knowledge, and engages everyone in achieving higher levels of quality and safety, while holding or even reducing costs. This is the ‘transforming care’ challenge we face, not only in our hospital but in our healthcare environment in Ontario, and indeed across Canada.
We remain committed to learning, and to building an environment where everyone is respected for their knowledge, skill and problem-solving ability, regardless of their role. Lean is teaching us that this is the path to continuous and sustainable improvement in the workplace, and for the patient experience.
Investment in people is key to building a Lean organization. Our leaders lead daily huddles, motivating and empowering employees to voice their ideas, working with them to solve problems. One hundred percent of our leaders, as well as 11 emerging leaders, have all completed Lean Green Belt Training that gives them the skills and tools to enhance their improvement work.
As well, during the past year, a total of 158 STEGH employees participated in rapid improvement (Kaizen) events where small teams come together for a few days at a time to make important improvements in the processes they work in every day. To ensure the voice of the customer was heard, we also invited our volunteer Patient Advisors to participate!
Interestingly, the patient experience or patient centred care model is consistent with the lean system of thinking and organizing which is based on a similar principle….that when you listen to your customer and work to understand their needs, you learn about what they value, quality increases, there is less waste and opportunity for error, and cost decreases.
Our Patient Experience Strategy and Patient Experience Council are examples of STEGH’s commitment to our vision. Our Patient Experience Council volunteers from the St. Thomas and Elgin County community helps us to see in a new way and were the impetus for our new Family Presence Guidelines. It has been an incredibly rewarding and exciting year for us and I am confident we are on the right track!