Making Change in Healthcare

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

For a decade, Purdue Healthcare Advisors (PHA) has worked with clinics, hospitals and public health departments of all sizes to improve processes and quality. This puts us squarely in the business of working with clients to “make change” in healthcare, and keeps us on the lookout for evidence-based approaches to organizational and behavioral change.

Change Ahead Warning SignOne approach we took note of recently is a study conducted by McKinsey & Company entitled How to Beat the Transformation Odds. They did a global survey of nearly 2,000 executives with transformation experience in which they looked at 24 specific actions across five stages of transformation. What they found resonates with our experience at PHA, and it’s supported by other research, as well.

Consider these two highlights:

    • The success rate with transformations is very low (less than 27%) unless you take a systematic, action-oriented approach that uses many of the 24 change actions. Then it can triple!
    • Continuous improvement and direct employee involvement are needed to maintain the momentum and hold the gains of your transformation.

Direct involvement of front-line staff; action orientation in the form of rapid-improvement events; and continuous/daily improvement are the hallmarks of the well-designed Lean transformation efforts gaining momentum in healthcare. They also are solid lessons for all the change we are facing in healthcare today, i.e. EHR implementations, ICD-10 conversion, evidence-based practice, population health and, more broadly, the shift from volume to value-based care.

At PHA, we are hard at work distilling a decade of experience, reviewing the evidence-based literature on change, and testing new tools/frameworks that will help our clients make change in their practices, hospitals and organizations. We plan to release our findings in a white paper, a series of webinars, and new service offerings in late summer 2015.

Mark Clare Mark Clare, MA, MS, LSSMBB, serves as principal advisor for strategic initiatives at Purdue Healthcare Advisors. In this role, he leads PHA’s performance improvement offerings including Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare training and certification, Lean leadership and strategy, rapid improvement events and solution delivery in re-admissions, HAC, patient flow and other high-impact areas. He is a published author, patented inventor, serves as adjunct faculty at Northwestern University, and has extensive administrative and consulting experience within the healthcare industry.

Writer: Mark Clare, 765-496-6945,

Tags: Process & Cost Improvement (Lean)

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