Hospitals Group Launches New Improvement Effort

The American Hospital Association has launched a new initiative called Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence (HPOE). While information about the initiative doesn’t specifically mention lean, it seems to be pointed in the right direction.

The effort focuses on four areas: healthcare-acquired infections, medication management, patient throughput and patient safety. The AHA website features numerous case studies of hospital improvement efforts, with an invitation to other hospitals to submit their own.

An article about the effort in Hospitals & Health Networks is encouraging, in that those involved seem to recognize that the focus should be on process improvement.

What HPOE clearly shows, says Rich Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, is that these are systemic problems. “They are problems with the internal processes in hospitals,” he says. “And only through a more systems-oriented approach, which is an approach that is foreign to a lot of us in the health care field, can you start to understand where the opportunities for improvement are and how to make those improvements so they bring lasting, not temporary, results.”

AHA is distributing a guide on the program to every hospital in the U.S. Personally, I‘d also like to see them give each hospital a copy of Lean Hospitals by Mark Graban, as well as a few other of our healthcare-related books.

The AHA initiative parallels other healthcare-related efforts, such as the 5 Million Lives campaign, a program of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that concluded in December.

It is good to know that the drive for healthcare improvement is expanding.

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