The Performance Improvement Project

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Performance Improvement Project
Universally, the health care system has many problems associated with a break-down of communication. This is obvious within my organization, particularly between rival departments. The outcome of these communication breakdowns is decreased performance. Therefore, a requirement for change management with a performance improvement strategy is over due.


The performance improvement project I chose relates to health care providers and the support staff at Naval Hospital Yokosuka, Japan and out-lying health centers. The primary focus will be in the avenue of patient tracking, and the improvement of effective communication among the many medical departments. As related to the submission of specialty care consults, which constitutes much of the frustration from both internal and external customers. I chose this project because it is a systems problem, with a systems solution. (1) There has been an increasily high number of communication breakdowns and delays involving paitnet specialty care refferals. The perception from the staff of the many departments is, that providers and staff of the other departments are not properly completing the required specialty care paperwork. Therefore, re-work is required resulting with increased patient wait time for appointments. And increased man-hours lost in other departments completing the unfinished paperwork. In any health care organization communication issues can become very complex,very rapidly. Therfore, the problems associated with communication should be addressed quickly and efficiently. Education and training becoming the key ingrediants for the performance improvement solution here at Yokosuka. The utilization of a vigorous "First Line Health Care Communication" training program will provide employees at all levels. The tools and methods to better understand the shortfalls and complexity of poor communication habits. The first step is the institution of this training process begins with workshops. The first workshop being for course facilitators and instructors, this will be a small diverse rank structured, group of personnel. This groups training will consist of one week, and include education on course facilitation, with a review of basic instruction techniques. Following the instructor trainer course as stated above. The core staff will begin attending workshops, taught by said instructors/facilitators. The course curriculum will include such topics as effective communication, patient tracking techniques, leadership continuum, understanding internal/external customers, patient satisfaction, reportable disease matrix, systems thinking verse linear thinking approach. The last session will include a presentation by the executive officer, which will focus on a reiteration of the commands mission while pointing out its correlation with a systems approach. I believe much of the solution can be found by creating ownership in the process, which in turn should create improvement and efficiency through accountability. Also, a systems apporach will provide enlightment to each employee. As they realizes the impact one over-sight can have on another department.

I cannot give an accurate rating of the entire organization as I only have the data from my directorate. Frankly, we are doing well, it is the interaction with other departments outside of our directorate that brings this problem to light. I would say in a word the hospital has failed to be efficient in this process and presently lacks the motivation to fix it, or roughly a seven out of ten. The staff, to include the majority of senior management is comfortable allowing a patient to wait two-three weeks for a routine specialty care appointment. When this process could be improved...
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