20 Day Challenge Day 11 – ESO NW User Group: Planning for Improvement

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Today, I start my day in Seattle, WA. I flew direct from Austin last night so I could be here this morning to speak the ESO Solutions Northwest Users Group. I spoke last year on the Science of Improvement and was thrilled with the will I encountered in the audience and the several ESO customers that contributed to the session. It was fun.

ESO Solutions is a great Austin based technology startup. It began as an electronic medical record platform for ambulance services but has expanded into health data exchange and community health. The CEO, Chris Dillie, is a great old friend and my former paramedic partner from my days with Austin-Travis County EMS. It’s been amazing to watch him evolve and to watch what he, and his team at ESO, have created.

Today’s talk is on planning for and executing improvement projects. This is an area I spend a lot of my professional time with and recently posted on here. Improvement work is hard work and it’s critically important to take the time at the start to develop a charter and work with your team and leadership around the three questions from the model for improvement:

  • What are we trying to accomplish (Aim)?
  • How will we know a change is an improvement (Measurement)?
  • What changes do we think will result in improvement (change ideas)?

In addition, you have to pull in all of the traditional elements of project management to focus on the Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How logistics. This requires a special focus when your core method is small, rapid cycle PDSA testing to spread learning and test change ideas.

This morning’s talk will be enjoyable. There’s a lot of will to improve here. The challenge is supporting and enabling EMS leaders to move from the industry’s norm of improvement to a more effective and results oriented method described in the session. I know they have the ability. I’m hopeful to see a few roll up their sleeves and jump into the hard work and the steep learning curve.

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PDSA Reflections

Time 15 mn.

This post was pretty quick to write. I think it was the result of lighter content and I have a short window to complete the task before I speak. I was pleased that I made the decision to go straight to bed last night and wake up early enough to workout in the hotel and write this post. Two PDSAs today and it’s only 8:15a PT. I feel energized and ready for my session. I still have seven more days of on the road though. We’ll see if I can maintain the success. I am more than half way on this challenge!