It’s Not About The Box Improving Care at Group Health with People, Process and Technology

May 31, 2007

Kaiser Permanente 21st Century Care Innovation Collaborative Visits Group Health

Filed under: Informatics Team — admin @ 6:09 am

Yesterday, Karl Hoover, Executive Director of Quality & Informatics and myself toured two groups of primary care leaders from Kaiser Permanente through the “visual management systems” now in use at Group Health Administrative Conference Center (ACC). This group was one of several that visited other innovation sites at Group Health, including Factoria Medical Center, Burien Medical Center, and Family Health Center.

I got to watch as our colleagues on the Epic, MyGroupHealth, and Health Plan Administration demonstrated the new ways of working they are using, where work is visible for all to see, and directly tied to providing impact for the member. It seems counter-intuitive to not use databases and spreadsheets to catalogue work progress, but in fact this way works much better, and is one of the factors in Toyota Motor’s success.

The teams demonstrated how simple it was for team members to tell at a glance who is working on what, and for managers to be aware of potential trouble spots quickly. They also showed how the culture of their groups are changing as a result of these improvements and as a result of LEAN itself. I heard presenters talk about their work in terms of “what we are doing for our members” throughout.

There is something in LEAN that says you should be as close to the customer as possible – “going to the Gemba” means going to the factory floor. In this case, the ACC is not truly the factory floor. However, what’s happening here is prototyping for new ways of serving our only customer, the member, and every innovation has an implication for use in primary care (and health care in general). And, factory floor or not, there is a lot of work happening here to serve members alongside all Group Health staff.

I hope as you look at these pictures that you get a sense of the confidence displayed by Group Health staff as they went from being students to teachers of a very distinguished group of leaders from Kaiser Permanente. Both organizations do our best when we are constantly learning and teaching. This is great to see.

May 29, 2007

Olympia Medical Center QIST

Filed under: QISTs — admin @ 1:19 pm
Oly Newsletter

OMC QIST Newsletter

Attached is the newsletter from the Olympia Medical Center QIST. The team(s) did a lot of great work, during a busy time. The focus was on blood pressure control.

This was also the first QIST that included a Group Health member as a participant. Donna Kerr has written up her observations on our LEAN blog: . I think it is worth your while to take a look at her experience. She was very impressed by what Group Health can do for patients.

User ID unmasking in Epic

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 12:25 pm

A small change is being made in Epic next week, currently scheduled to be put in place on May 29, which will help facilitate the log in process.  The change is switching the “User ID” entry field at log in so it displays the actual characters you’re typing rather than ######. It is not uncommon for staff to type a wrong character in either the User ID or Password field and of course, when that happens, log in or unsecuring fails.  If the mistype occurs in the User ID field, everything typed after that is a waste of time, but you don’t know it (yet) since you can’t see the characters.  Unmasking the User ID will allow staff to see if they misenter a character as soon as it happens so they can correct it before going farther.  This should decrease the number of false start logins staff experience.  Your User ID is easily viewed on InContext so unmasking this does not significantly increase security risk.  Your individual user ecurity is maintained by keeping the masked passwords.

EpicCare: Easier to Log into this morning

Filed under: Safety — admin @ 9:18 am

You will all notice this morning that your UserID is no longer “hidden” when you log into EpicCare. This is a deliberate change, sponsored by myself, Ernie Hood, our CIO, and John Kaschko, MD, who sits on the Group Health Security and Confidentiality Committee.

The change was made to reduce errors on logging into the system, which can take precious time when delivering patient care. At the same time, the potential risk from showing this information was carefully studied. Kaiser Permanente and several of our peer health care organizations do not hide this information on login. EpicCare is, to our knowledge, the only clinical system where the UserID was hidden on login.

Given the brief nature of the login process and our use of robust passwords, we believe this does not in any way compromise our commitment to member security and privacy.

May 25, 2007

The Group Health Adventure : A patient blogs about the Health Profile

Filed under: Health Profile — admin @ 5:03 pm

Katie McCarthy, from Group Health Communications and Community Relations sent this on. It’s a Group Health patient’s blog posting of her experience using the health profile on line as part of a well visit. One thing that impresses me is that she talks about how her doctor took the information from the health profile and then supplemented it with her information about how much she walked.

It looks like a terrific interaction and sort of envisions what Group Health thought of for the Health Profile. Kudos to the Health Profile team, David Grossman, MD, Rob Reid, MD, and Nisha Melwani.

Green » Day 98: MLwC & and the Group Health Adventure

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