Kaizen (kai-zen): A Japanese word that means "change for better;" a Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices, personal efficiency, etc.
Whatever the definition, it's true that when partners put their heads together, organizations can indeed "change for the better." Recently, frontline staff from the North East CCAC joined care providers from Bayshore, We Care and Care Partners for a face-to-face Kaizen event aimed at enhancing quality patient care.
CCAC Kaizan leaders Stacey Bolduc, Amy Mangone and Celia Espinoza helped participants focus on the issue at hand – streamlining the task of approving additional visits within 24 hours for patients who need extra support.
The group was divided into smaller teams comprised of CCAC and Service Provider employees who were then given the opportunity to review the current process, provide feedback and identify opportunities for improvement. At the end of the event, a collaborative decision was reached to move forward with a more efficient process that will see the approval of urgent extra visits for patients in need within HOURS instead of days!
"Face-to-face events are beneficial on a number of levels," says Stacey Bolduc, CCAC Performance and Relations Advisor. "For one, they literally put a face to the familiar voices we connect with on a daily basis when coordinating/managing care for our patients. Perhaps more importantly, these events help build relationships with our Service Providers, as we are able to see a particular process from their perspective, enabling us to better understand their needs in caring for patients."
Marcey Duguay, Regional Manager, Care Partners, was one of the Kaizen participants. "I enjoyed being able to liaise with different disciplines and providers during the event," Duguay says. "It was incredibly beneficial to be able to assist in creating a process that not only improved communication between Service Providers and CCAC staff but also helped improve the patient experience."
"I believe there is interest in hosting more Kaizen events in the future," states Amy Mangone, CCAC Manager, Care Coordination. "There was a lot of positive feedback from all parties involved, and there are several other processes that can benefit from this level of attention. What is especially exciting about these events is the opportunity to hear directly from front-line staff, the true subject-matter experts when it comes to patient care."