The Seattle Children's Hospital Improves Its Own Health

On Friday, July 9, The New York Times published a revealing article about the continuous performance improvement initiative (C.P.I.) at the Seattle Children's Hospital. Not only has this initiative dramatically improved patient care, but it helped cut costs per patient by 3.7 percent, which resulted in a saving of $23 million.

article interviews Patrick Hagan, the hospital's president (as well as co-author of the forthcoming book Leading the Lean Healthcare Journey: Driving Culture Change to Increase Value), about the use of tools used most notably at Toyota such as kaizen. Hagan believes that "the highest-quality care also is the most cost-effective because we make fewer mistakes and create better outcomes."

An interesting part of the article deals with initial resistance to C.P.I. from doctors because many thought some patient-care decisions would be removed from the physicians.
Dr. John Waldhausen, the division chief of pediatric general and thoracic surgery at the Seattle Children's Hospital, changed his mind as the initiative developed. He states that "C.P.I. is the same scientific method we learned in medical school, including hypotheses, data collection and analysis. It is not opinion and conjecture — it is data-driven."

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