Continuous Improvement

We never stop learning and improving.

Over the past several years, Saint Francis has embraced a new strategy for process improvement. The Saint Francis Solution System -- which draws on the principles of Lean thinking -- puts the patient first, engages everyone to drive waste out of processes, and focuses attention on achieving high quality results. At Saint Francis, we see Lean thinking as one key to continuous improvement, setting the stage for innovation in healthcare.

Providing BestCare for a Lifetime is an ambitious goal. For many years, Saint Francis has used evidence-based care guidelines and best practices to improve Clinical Quality, Patient Safety, and the Patient Experience. The Saint Francis Management Solution applies Lean thinking so we continue to get even better.

How We Do It

Saint Francis has dedicated staff with expertise in Lean thinking and other performance improvement tools that support senior leadership and the organization in continuous improvement efforts. These individuals facilitate, coach, and mentor leaders and front-line staff within the organization. Every month, more people at Saint Francis are pulling together as teams to identify problems and implement solutions. The knowledge and creativity of these teams is just as impressive as the results they achieve.

Some examples of results from our continuous improvement activities:

  • Helped clinicians spend more time with patients
  • Decreased patient falls on an inpatient unit by 54%
  • Made it easier for patients and families to navigate through our campus
  • Met patients' needs in a more timely manner across many areas in the hospital
  • Helped our outpatient clinics function as Patient-Centered Medical Homes
  • Decreased the amount of excess supply inventory in clinical areas
  • Reduced wasted time and re-work in many administrative processes

Over the past several years, Saint Francis has engaged over 500 employees, members of the medical staff, patients, and volunteers in over 75 continuous improvement events. Incremental changes from each of these activities contribute to our overall goal of providing BestCare for a Lifetime.

Integrating Lean Thinking into our Daily Work

We have achieved great success through Lean events that gather teams for up to four days to find solutions to a problem. The key to sustaining these efforts is the concept of daily continuous improvement. We are working with leaders and front-line staff to use and apply Lean thinking in their work each and every day. This will enable everyone to identify waste, solve problems, and test solutions as part of their daily work - not only in special events. We are working closely with our Organizational Development team to integrate the key skills and competencies into our learning curriculum at Saint Francis.

In the News

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