Getting LEAN: How to Work Smarter in Healthcare IT

LEAN principles can be a lifesaver (literally).

LEAN methodology got its start during the industrial revolution, but it's just as relevant in today's tech organizations—if not more.

As former CIO at Scripps Health, Seattle Children's Hospital, Steward Healthcare, and the U.S. Air Force, Drex DeFord has a lot to share when it comes to what helps IT teams thrive.

In this webinar, Drex shares an overview of LEAN principles, and how they can be a lifesaver (literally) in any healthcare IT organization.

LEAN and Visibility Systems in Healthcare IT



(4:42) What's LEAN again? Time for a quick refresher on the philosophy, methods, tools, history and even the culture. "Sometimes common sense needs some help."

(9:20) When you see waste, it's a clue. Find out how to do the detective work to find the problem with the associated process. You'll relate to some of these scenarios.

(12:12) Move toward transparency. It's important to let everyone see what you're doing. That's a big change for a lot of people. When someone thinks their value comes from knowing what no one else knows, they'll want to keep it that way. For some people, having secret knowledge gives a feeling of being in control.

(13:15) Ask for help. "The act of asking for help and helping others is not a sign of weakness. It's a sign of strength." In many orgs, it only happens in an emergency or as a last resort. "In our healthcare IT world, everything is connected to everything else." "Asking for help isn't a personal weakness, it's a vote of confidence in your teammates."

(15:15) Stock up on sticky notes. Visual systems don't all have to be cool and computerized. Paper visual systems can work really well. Drex demonstrates several paper and technological visual systems, including ExtraHop, and shows how to use them to plan resources and increase the likelihood that each project will succeed. "It's not about solving world hunger, it's about making small, incremental improvements."

(27:30) Prevent the CIO "bright, shiny object syndrome." Visual systems and clear decision-making criteria help minimize how often the team is distracted by new, undocumented projects.

(39:20) The sneaky way to get your org to adopt LEAN methodology. Hint: Don't call it LEAN. Appeal to the basic understanding that you're going to try a process, document everything, and improve the process. Medical professionals are scientists at heart, so use their language. Help them use LEAN tools to solve their problems.

(44:45) Why ExtraHop? Hear why Drex was skeptical at first, why he ultimately adopted ExtraHop, and how the team at Seattle Children's continues to use it to support their LEAN IT methodology. "That was the pocketknife I needed to help me go faster than I had ever gone before."

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