Monday, October 22, 2012

Leaning into it: CCRMC and HC Kaizens and 5S Events Resume

I'm excited to announce that we have resumed our focused Lean efforts and specifically our Kaizen activities. We will focus our upcoming events on improving the patients experience related to transitioning out of the hospital and back the community setting.  It’s important that we construct an environment of care that supports our staff in their work. This essential step lays the groundwork for improvement.

September 28th marked the conclusion of our most recent Rapid Improvement Event. The week focused on creating this efficient and organized system for the 4A Telemetry unit using a tool called 5S. The 5 “S’s” stand for:

1) Sort: Making sure needed items are separated from unneeded items, which are removed from the workspace
2) Set in Order:  The needed items are arranged to maximize workflow
3) Shine: Workspace is clean
4) Standardize
5) Sustain, which both create a standard program of accountability to maintain the optimal and clean work environment

People often mistake 5S for a clean-up event, but building a strong foundation for the workspace will eliminate unnecessary waste such as looking for items or excess inventory.  While at the same time developing a framework for an organized work environment that supports optimal workflow, reduces confusion and redundancy and conveys respect for our employees and the work they do.

During the week, a multi-disciplinary team consisting of front line staff and a patient partner “5S’d” our 4A Telemetry Unit. They successfully identified many areas for improvement through their energy, hard work and by consulting with people working and receiving care on 4A. The aim was to create a safe, clean and optimal workspace for everyone.  The improvement achieved during the week will be sustained by use of “5 minute 5S zones” by the people who actually work on 4A.  By developing a shared responsibility for maintaining the work space every employee will feel a sense of ownership.  After the process is refined by the front line workers and sustained for 90 days, we will be spreading the improvement to our other units. I’ve posted the slides here.

West County Health Center shining example of the future

On a recent visit to our new West County Health Center, I was thrilled to see how excited staff are to be working in our state-of-the-art facility in San Pablo. They have done an incredible job or ensuring a successful move from our aging Richmond Health Center that the new center replaced.

This new health center, which opened October 9, will help us better serve West Contra Costa County residents, increasing the number of people we can serve and improving access to care.

Not only is the new health center beautiful with vibrant colors and a design reflecting our diverse community, the 53,000-square-foot, environmentally-friendly facility is significantly larger and has 58 exam rooms to help meet the demand for health care in the area.

The goal is to create a health hub in the community and this new facility will serve as a patient-centered health home to provide the right care, at the right place and at the right time. The West County Health Center offers primary and specialty care, well-baby visits, cardiology and other critical services. A $1 million contribution from John Muir Health also will help us offer expanded evening and weekend care at the center starting next year. The additional hours will provide a timely and convenient source of care to people who need to be seen the same day but don't require a trip to an emergency department, allowing us to effectively partner with nearby Doctors Medical Center.

Thank you to all who made this possible, including Congressman George Miller, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia and the Board of Supervisors, the City of San Pablo, and CCHC Director Dr. William Walker. You can read a recent news story on the center here:

And a very special thank you to all of the Contra Costa County employees who made this possible and for their commitment to those we serve.

More very soon,

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Teresa Pasquini weighs in on the importance of partnership

I'm delighted to see the CCRMC Behavioral Healthcare Partnership Chair, Teresa Pasquini, posted her experience on Safety Net Matters blog.

She shares her thoughts on how CCRMC partners with patients and family members, "We are not token advisers but, rather, equal and respected partners. With constancy of purpose, we have put our stake in the ground in our search for perfection. Our goal is to achieve zero harm and end visiting hour restrictions, seclusion and restraints, and blame and shame." Read Teresa Pasquini's full post here.

I'm grateful to Teresa for sharing her perspective and the CCRMC experience with others. Its true to the all teach, all learn philosophy in the improvement community and I look forward to hearing how other organizations engage patients and family members as the conversations continue.

More very soon.

Legacy Letters: West County Health Center Art N' The Lobby

We will be having a very special Art N' The Lobby this Wednesday 12:15pm-1pm in the downstairs lobby at our new West County Health Center.

Personal Historian Trena Cleland will be joining us to talk about her amazing project. Please join us for this special program.

Legacy Letters (also known as ethical wills and spiritual biographies) :

Reflections and Reminiscences of HIV-positive Women

A project of Trena Cleland, personal historian

2011 - 2012

Here is a brief overview of this powerful work:

Legacy Letters: Reflections and Reminiscences of HIV-positive Women

A project of Trena Cleland, personal historian

2011 - 2012

Through Alameda County’s Innovative Grants Program (funded by the so-called “millionaire’s tax” passed by voters in 2004), funds became available for innovative projects that tap the positive wisdom and experience of mental health consumers, creating ways for them to participate in their own recoveries.

In Trena Cleland’s project, several HIV-positive women in Oakland recorded their life lessons and values in lovely written documents called Legacy Letters.

Legacy Letters (also known as ethical wills and spiritual biographies) are statements of one's values, beliefs, and learnings to pass on to future generations.

Through written exercises and oral history interviews, Trena guided the participants in considering such questions as:

  • What values and principles have guided your life?
  • What important lessons have you learned?
  • What spiritual teachings and practices move you?

The responses were then edited and polished and matched with family photos to create written testimonials for the participants to share with loved ones. Creating these letters was empowering and healing for the women, and they reported an increased sense of peace, confidence, and well-being.

Trena will show samples of the Legacy Letters, provide handouts and resources, and discuss the healing benefits of life review and reminiscence.