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Hospital Focus 5 consultants have worked on strategy, customer service, operations, quality improvement and facility design projects in the USA and internationally. Using a direct, straightforward, and data driven approach, they have successfully dealt with the complex needs of complex organizations.

In many of these our engagements, organizations were struggling with operational dysfunctions, budget overruns or cuts, staffing issues, quality improvement outcomes, strategic direction or even their continued existence. Here is a sample of some of the successes our consultants have helped bring about:

A Little Bragging About a Client

Minnesotans are taught at an early age that bragging just isn't polite.  For example, young school children find out that the state doesn't have 10,000 lakes like the license plates say - it has over 15,000!  However, we shouldn't brag or call attention to that fact.

I have a client I like to brag about.  It's a good sized, hospital-based system that has been using the Focus 5 organizational change and transformational approach in one of their hospitals for 20 years.

Several years ago, because of the spectacular results achieved by one of the system's hospitals, (more about that later) the flagship, 900-bed, academic medical center implemented their plan to transform the hospital using Focus5.  After several months of work by multiple committees made up of a wide range of management, clinical and support staff, a kickoff informational meeting and celebration was held.  Each committee reported out on their segment of the deployment plan and the entire group celebrated the move from talking and planning to doing and implementing.  The theme was fitting - a ribbon cutting.  It was like a building project moving from architects' plans to actual construction.  The organization was making a historic change in the way work was accomplished every day in every department.

After two years passed the design purpose was clear.  As the hospital COO stated: "We will reach our vision of greatness through team work, staff engagement and a systematic model for continuous quality improvement."

Over six thousand staff members now routinely participate in Work Groups, reviewing dashboards, discussing ideas to improve organizational performance and being members of project teams, which operationalize improvement ideas.

The past several years have seen dramatic improvements in patient safety and there have been significantly fewer injurious patient falls and pressure ulcers.  Recent data now shows bloodstream infection rates, which rival best practices, nation-wide.

Of course there are still many more opportunities for improvement at the flagship, but they only need to look at the experience with the process of their sister hospital over the long run to continue to be invigorated and excited about the possibilities.

Twenty years ago when that hospital began the same process, they were in the midst of a declining census, single digit patient satisfaction scores, rapidly shrinking cash flow along with many other financial issues.  They realized that long-term survival was far from assured and would require major change.

Within five years of beginning their transformation journey with Focus 5 they managed to move to the 99th percentile in patient satisfaction, to not only stabilize their financial situation, but to become the financially healthiest hospital in their state.  By the tenth year they built a new, state of the art, total replacement hospital at a new location and doubled their average census.  By the 20-year point they added four additional wings to the replacement facility.

Most change and improvement "projects" fail.  They are not sustainable because sustainability is not built into the transformation process.  After a key leader or two moves on the "program" dies.  At Hospital Focus 5 we, with you, build in sustainability to organizational transformation.

Ken Bast

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