To create an organizational focus on continuous performance improvement in all functional areas. Below are several Frequently Asked Questions that staff have about how Performance Improvement relates to other quality initiatives and how a well executed PI program can positively impact an organization.
FAQ’s – Performance Improvement
1. What is Performance Improvement?
Performance improvement is a process for continually improving the performance of an organization by using a systematic approach of identifying processes that need to be improved, mapping those processes, and then determining what steps can be taken to modify the process to enhance the outcome. This approach identifies gaps between desired and actual performance, identifies root causes, selects, designs and implements interventions to fix the root causes, and measures changes in performance. PI is a continuously evolving process that uses the results of monitoring and feedback to determine whether progress has been made and to plan and implement additional appropriate changes.
2.What is the goal of PI?
The goal of PI is to enhance the overall performance of the organization at all levels by clearly identifying processes that can be enhanced to reduce obstacles to achieve desired organizational results. The overall goal for PI in CMC is to continually enhance the delivery of healthcare to improve patient and employee satisfaction while balancing public financing constraints. For success to occur in the PI process, managers, staff, and senior leadership will be required to actively participate in all stages of the PI methodology and change process. A culture of PI must be pervasion within the organizational structure so every employee feels empowered to assist in improving processes that act as constraints to the delivery of outstanding patient care.
3.What is the relationship between the Baldrige initiative and PI?
“The Baldrige Award is given by the President of the United States to businesses—manufacturing and service, small and large—and to education, health care and nonprofit organizations that apply and are judged to be outstanding in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer and market focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; human resource focus; process management; and results.”1 PI is one component of the Baldrige award criteria, but the process of improving systemic processes from strategic planning, leadership skills, workforce development, and individual and organizational learning will be the more global application of the performance improvement initiative within CMC. In the short term, our goal is more to emulate those companies that create management structures worthy of award recognition vs. actually applying for the award. Once CMC has created or refined current processes to a level that may possibly warrant a full package application, we may consider that course of action. CMC is currently a premier organization in our market niche, however, there are many processes that senior leadership would like to examine and improve to make CMC even better.
4. What is the relationship between PI and training?
Training is an integral part of the performance improvement process. Staff needs to be trained on techniques for identifying opportunities for process improvement as well as techniques essential to forming groups, working in teams, mapping processes, collecting data, and then implementing processes for improvement. Once new process have been created, end users need to be educated on the changes in order to consistently execute the strategy needed to close the gap between “current” and “desired” processes. Training can be both formal and informal, with a number of learning modalities incorporated to include online resources, classroom training, mentoring, etc.
5.What is the relationship between Quality Improvement (QI) and PI?
There are many similarities between QI and PI. The main similarity is the overarching objective of enhancing performance outcomes. In addition, both are cyclical problem-solving processes. Both advocate the establishment of standards and the continual quest to meet those standards. Both seek to establish the root causes of identified problems. Both identify and select appropriate actions that are intended to address performance problems. Both models draw from the same tool box, although the use of the tools may vary. Even though PI uses many of the same process re-engineering methodologies used in QI processes, PI also focuses on altering behavioral elements that will help organizations optimize systemic performance. PI also tends to overlap with some areas of human resources and human development due in large part to the emphasis on creating the appropriate incentives, behaviors, and management structures needed to optimize an organization’s performance.
Other interesting websites:
- Institute for Healthcare Improvement (http://www.ihi.org)
- American Society for Quality (http://www.asq.org)
- Baldrige National Quality Program (http://www.quality.nist.gov)
For information on career opportunities in Correctional Managed Care, click here to view current vacancies by visiting the UTMB jobline