It is important to ensure that front line staff are efficiently engaged in the change making process. This is accomplished through the use of Simplex, a tool utilized by experienced and highly capable facilitators who manage and support the execution of the entire project. This approach enables "team functionality" via facilitated, dynamic, engaging and efficient discussion and decision making. This unique approach enables the:
- Assembly of quality facts
- Definition of high potential opportunities for improvement
- Focus on root cause of constraint
- Consideration of fresh, high quality solutions
- Evaluation and selection of the best high impact solutions
- Preparation and support of doeable implementation plans
- Rapid implementation of the selected solutions
- Capture and application of useful performance data
We enable collaboration and action by cross professional health care teams to realize valuable change with minimal impact on day-to-day heatlh care operations.
A multi-functional steering committee is established to assess, make timely decisions and drive implementation of the change. It is made up of 8 to 10 individuals representing the various functions involved in the subject system.
Each committee session is fully documented and made available to the team throughout the project. In addition a version controlled project deck which summarizes each step in the project is maintained. It serves as a valuable communication tool for team members and stakeholders not directly involved in the project.
Understanding the process is necessary, but this alone is not enough to achieve improvement. It is essential to define constraint within process. It has been our experience that solutions which do not relieve bottlenecks or constraint will not generate satisfactory results.
Process Improvement Challenges
Areas of constraint indicate where effort should be applied. To address this, we start with the result we wish to achieve. In the Simplex methodology this is stated in the “how might we?” format. This phrasing allows participants to look beyond the blockage and better define goals and end state results.
All decisions to this point have been based on the collective experience of the Steering Committee, which in our records is correct 90% of the time. Before further investment is committed however, assumptions must be confirmed with real data, which we capture. The findings may alter the challenge statement, which is good. This ensures the resulting solution will be well focused on the root cause of the constraint and be more likely to actually improve the challenge situation.
Solution Sub Teams
Solutions Teams are engaged to develop alternative solutions to the assigned challenges. Generally they develop 50 or 60 alternatives and recommend the top 3 for implementation. We ensure at least 2 of the 3 selected solutions can be implemented quickly, within 30 to 60 days. This satisfies the need for some quick wins and proves the validity of the approach and the team.
A Concept document is prepared for each solution. It encapsulates all of the thinking from the Steering Committee and Solution Sub Team. This 1 page document contains the following sections: Background, Process Improvement Challenge, Solution, Rationale, Measures of Success and Milestones. It is an important tool for chartering implementation teams and rolling the solution out to the various stakeholders.
These are teams assembled to implement the solution. They are often multifunctional and must include formal and informal thought leaders within the relevant communities. Implementation to us means that the solution is in place, working and generating measureable results.
Roadblock Facilitation Sessions
In every implementation effort unexpected roadblocks arise which frequently derail excellent solutions. Roadblock Facilitation sessions are designed to assemble all of the key players and define and swiftly resolve such blocks and derailers.
Consolidated Implementation Plan
Very often the project involves implementing 5 or 6 solutions. Creating and managing a consolidated implementation plan is an important tool for the Steering Committee to track and support the various implementation teams.
The report card is used to monitor performance and impact of change. It is a 1 page document which contains the following sections: Metric, Rationale for the metric, Capture method and frequency, Baseline performance, Current performance and Target performance. Implementation is not complete until the target performance is achieved and confirmed via the report card.