October 2016

Improving access part 5: workplace organization and sustainment

You’ve done the hard work of eliminating your backlog so that patients can be seen when they want to be seen. You are doing “today’s work today.” But how do you sustain these improvements to keep your backlog from returning? It starts with having your workplace organized and then putting into place a robust sustainment plan.

The beginning: Looking back at our transformation

I wrote this four years into our journey at Virginia Mason Medical Center. The challenges back then are the same as they are today. The key is always leadership focus.  When it is there constantly, then great things happen. When it is not, then like sails luffing— simply flapping with no direction and no power—nothing goes forward.

November 14, 2004