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Harnessing Continuous Improvement at Memorial Health System

Posted by Morgan Wright

Oct 19, 2023 9:15:00 AM


In today's rapidly evolving landscape, organizations are constantly seeking innovative solutions to enhance their processes and achieve new heights of excellence. In this customer spotlight, we delve into Memorial Health System's transformative experience with KaiNexus and the new process they are launching in KaiNexus very soon.  

Memorial Health System (MHS) is a not-for-profit integrated health system led by a volunteer board of community members committed to providing comprehensive care services that meet the needs of the region. Today, the Memorial Health System employs over 2,700 employees, including 325 providers representing 64 clinics. The system, in total, works with over 500 physicians representing over 40 specialties who strive to deliver quality, affordable care with an additional focus on medical education and community service.

We had the chance to chat with both Mike McGowan, Director of Process Excellence, and Jennifer Meek, Clinical Risk Manager/Patient Safety Officer, who share their perspectives on their transformative journey with continuous improvement and KaiNexus, shedding light on how this platform has revolutionized their approach to process improvement and patient safety.

Here's a closer look at the insights and revelations from our discussion:

From Paper to Possibilities

When Jennifer started at MHS as a frontline nurse almost twenty years ago, the hospital had just begun integrating Lean principles into the organization. Jennifer was initially hesitant about implementing Lean practices into her daily work, remembering she felt it was just another thing to do. It wasn't until Jennifer got pulled onto the Quality Team and discovered her passion for improvement that she became a continuous improvement advocate along with Mike. Mike has led the Process Excellence team since 2014. 

Throughout MHS's improvement journey, they used paper A3s and Excel to accomplish and track their projects. However, handling this process manually led to a lack of visibility, errors, and difficulty collaborating across the organization. 

After facing these challenges, their CFO wanted to find software to accomplish this work instead of doing it manually. Although their CFO was interested in another platform, Mike knew other platforms could help them achieve much more. That's when Mike found KaiNexus. 

Choosing KaiNexus

After evaluating various options, the MHS team ultimately chose KaiNexus. Even in its early stages, they were impressed by the platform's elegance and functionality.

Mike shared that KaiNexus stood out as the superior choice because of its ability to handle a broader range of functions compared to the alternative software. 

"We came to KaiNexus to solve one problem, but we have ended up using it to solve so many more things.", Mike shared.

One of Jennifer's favorite ways she uses KaiNexus is to help keep her team accountable for managing RCA work in KaiNexus. If she assigns a task to someone with a due date and the task becomes overdue, Jennifer can easily comment on the Item to ask for an update. Additionally, she uses the "email now" option, so her comment not only notifies that person within their KaiNexus but also in their inbox. 

Since KaiNexus records each time she has commented asking for an update, she can use this 'paper trail' outreach to share with the individual's Leader, providing clear visibility into the status of the Item. 

Expanding the KaiNexus Footprint

As they look to continue to grow with KaiNexus, their next challenge is to start formally reporting incidents in KaiNexus. 

Currently, employees can share safety ideas during the daily safety huddle, and the Patient Safety Committee, which oversees all things safety, will submit any incidents into the system. Weekly, the Committee will review overdue or stagnant Items to ensure they are moving along. Last year, they built a Safety Huddle Board to track progress on incidents in the system. Jennifer has created a routine for herself to review this Board daily and see what she can help to move along. 

But, the process of the Safety Committee submitting and managing the incidents was becoming too much for just a few people to manage. So, they decided to allow the current Users to submit incidents themselves. 

They started this new process by rolling this out to a small sister hospital in West Virginia with almost 80 employees. Over just six months, they had 80+ issues identified, and they were able to fix many of these issues brought to their attention because of the platform. 

This success catalyzed the VP to give the green light to roll out incident reporting in KaiNexus to their current User base. As they begin to roll out this new process to their KaiNexus Users, they will make sure to start simple.

"My advice is to keep things simple - the simpler, the better when trying to engage Frontline staff." - Jennifer shared. 



Topics: Continuous Improvement Software, Customer Testimonials

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