Through the use of Improvement Science Methodologies, nurse leaders can advance health care processes, the quality of care delivered to patients, enhance patient safety, improve front-line staff’s job efficiency, promote employee morale, and reduce costs. Whether a nurse leader follows a structured approach to improve processes or uses improvement science tools individually, many objectives can be achieved. Originating in industry and manufacturing, the methodologies have earned their place in healthcare and have been applied at Northwell Health, a health system based in Lake Success, NY consisting of 21 hospitals and 550 outpatient clinics. Familiarization of the value and application of improvement science methodologies or in-depth training on use of improvement science methodologies such as Lean, which places emphasis on removing waste from a process, Six Sigma which focuses on reducing defects and variation from a process, Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles which utilize small tests of change to improve processes, Fast Track Decision Making, which is a structured means of gathering a problems solutions from front-line staff, and Discrete Event Simulation, a method of simulating real-world scenarios via software, all enable the nurse leader to effectuate change, or assist the facilitation of the methodologies. Change Acceleration techniques, which place attention on the human side of all change efforts requiring buy-in and support, play a vital role in the success of improvement science methodologies and should always be included in any process improvement project to enhance success. Front-line employees can learn to use and spread improvement science to advance health care in their organization and enhance patient care.
Audience Take Away:
• The audience will receive a brief overview of Improvement Science methodologies such as: Lean, Six Sigma, Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles, Fast Track Decision Making, Discrete Event Simulation, and Change Acceleration
• Overview of the tools of the methodologies that can be applied to healthcare
• Examples of how each methodology has been used in healthcare applications
• Explanation how using the presented methodologies can improve job efficiency, reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes