Friday, August 21, 2015


Process improvement is something that has been a hot topic ever since ISO and all those other early versions of do more with less came about.  My husband, at the time, was poster boy for the LEAN process at whatever Excel Polymers was named that day.  Theory was that the front line workers know where the flaws are in the production system and you should pick their minds for weak spots in the chain.  I will never forget the night his friends brought him home after a night of presenting, drunk as a goose on free Crown.  I am not that girl.  

The class I've been in for the past few months is something akin to that sort of process improvement.  We have identified goals for each of the respective teams and looked at the roadblocks and assets that we are dealing with in getting there.  It was fun until my daddy hit the door as a patient and then I became painfully aware of "opportunities for improvement" most of them involving continuity of care.  My father had surgery three times in a month after presenting in an ER that served us both well.  I reported for duty after that all nighter and it took a week to get right.  By then he was at the SNF with a wound vac.  As a veteran healthcare provider I was fortunate enough to be his advocate and even then, shit happened.  Hey.  We all make mistakes.  

That reminds me of the time 'Noler had the widow maker and got activase in our ER then was flown to Methodist North, the closest cardiac center.  By the time he left in the chopper, his EKG was normal thanks to the quick and on the fly diagnosis of  Dr. Hayes and Christy.  He was 39 at the time.  BG was in middle school and I slept in ICU waiting rooms for several nights and even in the stepdown window on second pass.  The cath was not performed until the next day because he was loaded up with anticoagulants and no stent was done.  I think the cardiologist was headed out on vacay.  Weinstein?  Anyways, without a stent early closure is about 50/50 on caths and that is exactly what happened.  Second time around we were back at North getting a stent and watching March Madness on the hospital TV.   That was in 1995ish and each admission was around 20-35K.  That would be a bargain these days. 

It really bothers me that folks live the lifestyles that they do and expect to live forever.  I'm not the healthiest person in the world but Lord knows I try to eat healthy when the budget allows..  Now that the weather is moderating, I'll be walking more and slowing down...maybe planting some fall crop.  Mom is excited about the move and that makes me smile.  Our mission for tomorrow is to find her hand stitched quilt upstairs in the cedar chest.  She's gonna' need it at the home.


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