Time, Money, People and Training Are Bad Countermeasures

Improvement Insights Blog

Time, Money, People and Training Are Bad Countermeasures

More time, money, people and training are poor, unsustainable countermeasures. Improvements should save money, time and people. Good countermeasures require more creativity.

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

“I recently mentioned a tool called TRIZ for doing analysis and coming up with countermeasures. One of the things I keep seeing is people think, “Well, if I only had more time or more money or more people or if we did a better job of training we’d fix all this stuff.” That’s dumb, okay? TRIZ suggests that you’re not being very creative. The goal is to reduce the amount of time, reduce the amount of money, reduce the amount of people, [reduce] unnecessary training. What you want to do is set the system up so that the system won’t let people fail, and they’ll be faster.

“I talk to hospitals and they think, “Well, if we just had more nurses on the floor we’d have better outcomes.” Maybe not. Maybe they’ll just get in each other’s way and cause problems. Maybe you need fewer nurses, but you need to prioritize the care and feeding of different folks in in the unit. Maybe the unit’s too big and so there’s too much commute time, or things are set up inappropriately so that there’s too much commute time inside of a nursing unit.

“I keep seeing people trying to throw money and people and time as problems; that’s the wrong answer. You need to figure out how to mistake-proof it so you don’t have those problems anymore, so you don’t need all that money, time and people.

“That’s my Improvement Insight for this week. Let’s create a hassle-free America, hassle-free health care. Let’s go out and improve something this week.”

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