Automate Measurements to Sustain Improvement

Improvement Insights Blog

Automate Measurements to Sustain Improvement

DMAIC suggests that we need to Define and Measure something. Doing it manually won’t work long term. Here’s why:

“I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and QI Macros [software].

“I have an Apple iPhone and I carry it along and it has a little Health app in it. At the end of the day I can open it up and see how many steps I did that day: 3,000, 5,000, 8,000… whatever it is. It’ll tell me if it was above or below what I’ve done for the last weeks or so.

“What I want you to do is get this idea about measurement: Measurement, as much as possible, should be automated so that it just happens… it just happens. If you think about it, if somebody walks into a building, something should be able to count it. If a nurse walks into a patient room, something should be able to count it.

“Everything should be automated and when you automate all these metrics, they become invisible. Nobody has to go through stroke tally, stroke tally, click a button, press a button, type a number… whatever it is, right? Automation. Then later you can take that data and either do some analysis or (like my phone) it just gives me the count of the number of steps.

“Think about automation when it comes to measurement, because manual is too slow. Everything will pass you by, by the time you get that manual stuff done. Sometimes you have to do manual because there ain’t no [other way]… but that’s rare.

“That’s my Improvement Insight this week: Let’s go out and automate some measurement. Make it simple, invisible but automatic.”

This entry was posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.