Jay Arthur Blog

Improvement Insights Blog

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COVID-19 Paramedic Dashboard 2020

One of our QI Macros users offered to share his dashboard of paramedic response during the Seattle area response to COVID-19. His team transported the first COVID patient in America. As you can see, turnaround times (TAT) at the hospital averaged 30 minutes and temperatures spiked in transported patients.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros.

How Crisis Affects U.S. Healthcare Workers

Back in 2002, thousands of miles from New York City, I worked with a hospital in Oregon. I was amazed to find that they had staffing data from 9/11 about the up and down for that month. As you can see in this X Chart, absenteeism (understaffing) was lower for each of the four following days, 9/12-15, and then recovered. I have noticed this pattern with COVID-19 as well: a week of paralysis followed by a return to normal. Unfortunately, healthcare workers haven’t had the luxury of downtime when dealing with the new crisis.

So don’t be surprised if crisis and uncertainty cause you or someone you know to hit the pause button.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros.

Reducing Blood Sample Over-Collection

At the ASQ Lean Six Sigma Conference in Phoenix this week, Katie Castree with Accumen presented an excellent improvement story about reducing over-collection of blood tubes in a hospital. Here’s the story:

Baseline: 317 extra tubes of blood collected every day (115,705/year)

93% of tubes were not used (clinicians thought it was much higher and resisted changing)

Most of the unused tubes were collected in the Emergency Department (focus on the ED, not the entire hospital).

After the countermeasure (not collecting tubes unnecessarily), extra tubes dropped from 317 per day to 118 per day saving $12,335/year and 0.27 FTEs. Over time, extra tubes dropped to only 84 per day, a 74% reduction.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog, QI Macros, Six Sigma.

When are bar charts dangerous?

Answer: Almost always.

  • When everything is presented in a bar chart, everything looks the same. And before long, everyone forgets what they’re looking at. Dan Roam

Bar charts always remind me of a Jack-O-Lantern with bad teeth.

Bar charts are one of the most misused charts. The most common mistake is using bar charts for time-series data (i.e., dates):

Bar charts are best used for categories—types of defects, objects, or whatever. Even so, the bars are often in a random order which makes distinguishing the important from the unimportant pretty difficult. Simply sorting the bars into a descending order makes them easier to analyze.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Statistics Means Never Having To Say You’re Certain

A lighthearted and (hopefully) humorous take on the world of statistics and those of us who make our way in it.

Hope you enjoy it!

Statistics Means Never Having to Say You’re Certain by Jay Arthur

Statistics means never having to say you’re certain
My hypotheses are Null
I’m just trying to cull
The signal from the noise
Because statistics means never having to say you’re certain

P values can’t be trusted
My analysis is busted
Because statistics means never having to say you’re certain

The alternative hypothesis
Is cramping my consciousness
Because statistics means never having to say you’re certain

My data isn’t normal
Tukey’s test seems so formal
Because statistics means never having to say you’re certain

You can prove the means are different
Equivalent but not the same
Because statistics means never having to say you’re certain

Wish they told me when I started
The results could all be charted
Because statistics means never having to say you’re certain

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

New QI Macros feature: Change Run Charts into Control Charts

Many people use Run Charts as a way to introduce people to SPC. You can now create a Run Chart with QI Macros and easily change it into a Control Chart.

Watch a video demonstration of this new feature:

Purchasing a new license is $299, but if your licensed version of QI Macros is from 2015 or later, you can upgrade to the most recent version of QI Macros for just $125 per license. (The upgrade won’t work on licenses 2014 and earlier.)

View the new features and enhancements we’ve added, and purchase an upgrade for your 2014 or later QI Macros licenses by clicking THIS link.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog, QI Macros.

Have You Ever Read Most of a Book Only to Discover…

…that you are missing 32 pages? Here’s a photo of my copy of David Baldacci’s novel, Long Road to Mercy:

Missing 32 pages

Started reading the page only to find a character that couldn’t be at the bottom of the Grand Canyon at this point in the book. Just when it starts building up to a resolution, I’m sent backward in time.

This is not my idea of hassle-free.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Xcel Energy Cuts The Power

Xcel left a message on our phone that we would “experience periodic electrical outages” because they are trying to conserve “natural gas usage due to cold weather.”

Can’t wait to reset all of our digital clocks.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Agile Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare – NAHQ 2018

How to “hack” Lean Six Sigma for Healthcare Quality and Safety. Recorded at NAHQ 2018 in Minneapolis, MN.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Agile Lean Six Sigma, Healthcare, Jay Arthur Blog.

Making Process Improvements Stick

The Nov-Dec 2018 HBR reports that Lean, Six Sigma and Agile “always work well initially, but often the gains fade quickly.”

  • 21% of improvement projects failed to yield any improvements
  • Only one-third of improvements continued to yield results after two years.

What’s needed to sustain improvements?

  • Consistent measurement and monitoring (i.e., control charts)
  • Leadership support and coaching
  • Avoid initiative fatigue caused by jumping from one improvement initiative to another.

Start monitoring your improvement projects using QI Macros control charts.
Download a free trial at https://www.qimacros.com.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog, Lean, QI Macros, Six Sigma.