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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.

What do we do? Do what you do.

These are uncertain times. What’s the best way (both psychologically and as a group) to get though this? By you continuing to do what you do, whether it’s writing, coding, or continuing to improve the quality of the processes around you.

(And just to be clear, when I say, “Go out and do what you do,” I don’t mean to literally “go out” if you don’t have to… it’s just an expression. Please continue to take whatever steps are necessary to keep yourself and the people around you safe.)



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

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Agile Lean Healthcare Now

Coronavirus means that we can’t wait weeks for training and months for improvements. Healthcare has to embrace Agile Lean Six Sigma to handle an infection that could overwhelm existing care facilities. (Hint: This has nothing to do with doctors and nurses, but everything to do with the patient.) Here’s how to do it:

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Lean Six Sigma for Hospitals” and the QI Macros [software]. You know, I think we’re at this place in time where we can no longer wait two to four weeks for training and four to six to twelve months for projects to get done.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Making Pareto Charts by Hand?

Sometimes you’ll hear people say that software isn’t necessary for Quality Improvement. Let me demonstrate how much time you’re wasting if you create ONE Pareto chart by hand, instead of using software.

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

“If you’ve listened to any of my Insight videos or seen me present at conferences or [had me] train you in a workshop, you know that I don’t believe you can do Quality Improvement without software. We have to stop doing Quality Improvement the 20th century manual, slow way. We have to start doing it the 21st century way, and we have to start doing it quickly.

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

IHI Trillion Dollar Checkbook Webinar, 2 of 3

Webinar 2 of 3: March 5, 2020 More than 60 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur first doing an overview on the IHI’s goal, and then going into more detail and highlighting examples on how implementing Agile Lean Six Sigma can speed an organization’s improvement process and better sustain results.  



Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.

Snowthrower Delivery Debacle

Ordered a snowthrower as a wedding gift for two day delivery. Eight days later it was delivered to someone’s home (not mine). How can we mistake-proof these kinds of problems?

“One of the guys in my office is getting married this June and so I got him an early wedding gift: a snow thrower. So I ordered it from Amazon. I ordered it on Monday, it was supposed to arrive on Wednesday; two days shipping on Prime.

“Then on Wednesday I get this notice that said, “Well, it’s sort of delayed.” So then it said maybe Friday, but of course on Friday it wasn’t here, and they tried to deliver it on Saturday, of course, which is when we’re closed.

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

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.

People Can Learn Quickly

People can learn Lean Six Sigma quickly, in a day or less. Here’s why:

“When I was about six years old, I was playing in a neighbor’s yard; we were rolling around in the grass and stuff like that. I came home and I went into my bedroom and I started digging around in my pocket and I felt something kind of fuzzy. I thought maybe there was a lint ball or something. I pulled it out of my pocket, threw it down and it came back and stung me in the neck.

“That bee sacrificed his life, but I learned a phobia of bees.

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

2/11/20 QI Macros Webinar

More than 50 people signed up for this webinar, with Jay Arthur demonstrating how to use some of the useful features of QI Macros, as well as some of the new features introduced in recent releases of the software. Some attendees were familiar with the software and already use it, some had only begun to use it; all were interested in learning new ways that QI Macros can help them with their Agile Lean Six Sigma and Quality Improvement efforts. (You can hear him answering questions and comments typed in by webinar attendees.)


If you saw a feature demonstrated in the webinar that might have been added to QI Macros after the version you’re using (for instance, the Templates Wizard, the Fixed Limit indicator or the automated Process Change Wizard), you may need to purchase an upgrade to bring your QI Macros to the current version.

Posted by Jay Arthur in Jay Arthur Blog.