January 2011

Change Leadership Methodology and Tools Help Franciscan Make Change Successful

Improved central scheduling processes, better management of patient belongings, a well-designed cardiac surgery program - Franciscan Health System, Tacoma, WA, has achieved these outcomes and more with the help of CHI's Change Leadership methodology and its tools, WorkOutTM and the Change Acceleration Process (CAP).

"WorkOut and CAP are part of our tool set for facilitating and engaging employees in change," said Karl Kraber, Lean program manager for five-hospital Franciscan Health System. "We offer change leadership training to managers across Franciscan so they are familiar with the tools. All of our managers are highly encouraged to attend the training, and one of our hospital chief operating officers - Kathy Bressler at St. Clare Hospital in Lakewood - actually requires managers to attend."

Kraber is also training 11 managers and front-line staff from various Franciscan hospitals and departments to serve as designated lead facilitators - true "change agents" who can lead a group through the entire process of change management.

"Coming up with a solution to a problem is actually the easiest part of change," Kraber said. "It's more difficult to implement and sustain change, because that involves people and changing how they do things. Our designated lead facilitators are receiving in-depth training in that complete spectrum of change management."

The WorkOut and CAP tools are designed to help accelerate change to ensure it is successful. WorkOut is a highly focused process in which a problem is discussed and a solution crafted by those closest to it. CAP is a methodology that includes leading change, shaping a vision, mobilizing commitment, making change last, monitoring progress and changing systems and structures.

"WorkOut is adaptable to more than 80 percent of the work we do," said Kraber. "It's a flexible tool that can be used to improve or fix problems."

To redesign the cardiac surgery program at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, a team of the individuals involved, from front-line staff to cardiac surgeons, met in a WorkOut session. Within eight hours, the group had identified and agreed on all of the elements of the new program. "WorkOut gets people focused and listening to each other," said Kraber.

CAP can be used to facilitate and implement the solutions identified by a WorkOut, especially when the change initiative is large and involves more than one hospital or department. "When we restructured our Patient Placement Center, which determines how patients are placed for care in all of our hospitals, the CAP process got the right people into the room to sort out all of the implementation requirements of all the people involved," Kraber said. "Resistance to change doesn't come from processes or resources, it comes from people. CAP helps you explore the needs of the people involved and how to help them move forward to accept the change."

For more information on training in and use of CHI's Change Leadership methodology, contact JudyAnn Mundis Stephen.