The FMEA I Wish I Did – Hurley Smith

I failed again. This time it’s still too raw for me to embrace the learning quite yet. This will be my therapy: a thousand words or less to help me reflect, discern, and grow.
It was a “right care, right place, right time” project. The literature says that colon cancer screening with an at-home fecal immunochemical test (FIT) is just as effective as a colonoscopy. FITs are much less expensive and invasive for patients so, how do we influence patients to choose FIT? This was the scientific question at the heart of the project. To answer it, the team would mail out different forms of outreach in a randomized experiment to see which is most effective.

When A3 Problem Solving Fails – Hurley Smith

Are A3s overrated? Seasoned improvers learn that, while helpful, following the A3 method for problem solving does not guarantee success for an improvement project. In this article, Stanford Improvement Team leader Hurley Smith explores some of the most common reasons improvement projects fail and suggests practical advice for improvers hoping to avoid those pitfalls.

Did COVID-19 Kill the Kaizen? – Hurley Smith

Did COVID-19 Kill the Kaizen? Kaizen is a Japanese word that means “change for better.” It entered the American vernacular during the manufacturing quality crisis in the 1980s as American companies began to emulate Japanese producers who had surpassed them in quality.[1]  A decade later, on the heels of publications such as To Err is […]

Failing to Make Discharges Happen by Noon – Hurley Smith

You read that right, we failed… if you define success with a SMART goal. While we may have fallen short of our quantitative target, we succeeded in generating valuable knowledge about our care delivery system. This post is this author’s attempt to preserve our lessons learned and normalize writing about projects that don’t go the way we want them to. Imagine how your project might be different if you could read a blog post from team’s that have tried to solve your problem before! If we all share, we all learn, and we all become better at solving problems. Here’s to making blogging about improvement work popular.

Cut to the Chase! – Jake Mickelsen

Cut to the Chase! I am sure we have all heard this phrase when someone is asking us to get to the point. Although it can feel pushy and somewhat disrespectful at times, is it valid? Especially when presenting improvement work? The saying originated from silent films and was thought to be coined by American […]