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Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Posted by Jonathan Bykowski on Mar 07, 2014

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I recently had an opportunity, for the second time, to attend the Society for Health Systems Process Improvement Conference. I was again inspired and awed by the significant impact that industrial engineers are having on improving the quality of healthcare across our country and globally.

I originally became interested in process improvement because our clients were interested in it, and I wanted to be sure that we were able to create designs that facilitated the future rather than opening new buildings that were hampered by the past. Incorporating Lean, Process-led approaches into our design methodology has already yielded improved results for us and in the eyes of our customers. I was fortunate to be invited to speak at the conference about the opportunity for architects and industrial engineers to work together to further advance healthcare improvement in the context of construction projects.

We are not only interested in improvement for our clients, but also for ourselves. I believe the transformative improvement that leading health systems, who have embraced Lean and other improvement approaches, have achieved is directly applicable to our industry as well. Improving the quality of our work, improving our efficiency and reducing our costs are target outcomes in our firm just as in any organization.

At Array, we are working to establish a culture of continuous improvement at all levels of our organization. A culture of continuous improvement is built with people, not with tools. Listening to Darryl Greene, former director of continuous improvement for the Cleveland Clinic, I was struck by the simplicity of several of his engagement ideas and the tremendous impact they had on establishing a culture of engagement across a massive organization.

The conference was capped off with an amazing presentation by Karen Martin summarizing her career’s research into creating outstanding organizations. As we at Array continue to evolve our continuous improvement culture and seek to really empower all of our employees at all levels of our organization to be agents for good change, we are using tools to do the work, but engagement and energy to create the culture.

Balanced scorecards, daily team huddles, kaizen, and data driven improvements weren’t just for manufacturing and aren’t only for healthcare. Lookout Architecture, here comes continuous improvement!

Topics: Architecture, Kaizen, Lean, society for health systems, Healthcare Design, Affordable Care Act (ACA), Process Improvement, Continuous Improvement