Baptist names first chief improvement officer

Skip Steward, who has spent the past two years as Baptist’s System Director for Performance Improvement, has accepted promotion to the role of Chief Improvement Officer.

In his new position, Skip will develop, administer, direct, and implement performance improvement activities for Baptist. His responsibilities include identifying efficiencies; financial oversight for programs and services systemwide; implementing performance improvement strategies to improve quality, service and cost reductions; and fostering a culture of continuous improvement and excellence.

During his two years at Baptist, Skip has been introducing the Baptist Management System (BMS) throughout the organization. He sat down with the Baptist Leader to explain what the Baptist Management System (BMS) is and what it has brought to Baptist.

[toggle title=”Leader: What is the Baptist Management System?” state=”open”] Skip: The Baptist Management System (BMS) is a holistic approach to managing that puts a focus on purpose, people and process. We care about the purpose, how to improve the process, and how we develop the people to improve the process.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Leader: How does it work?” state=”close”] Skip: We are encouraging people to think about the 3Ps (purpose, people and process) in a new way. We’re not trying to add tasks to the way people do their jobs; we’re trying to change how they do their jobs. From an operational and business perspective, it’s not about adding things to peoples’ shoulders –you have enough to do – the question is how we go about doing that work. Are we providing the highest quality care at the lowest cost in the most efficient way? That is a difficult balance. How do we do that?

The methodology we’re using for doing that is traditionally called LEAN, which came out of the Toyota production system. Leading health care organizations such as Virginia Mason in Seattle and ThedaCare in Wisconsin use this very effectively.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Leader: What is LEAN and what improvement initiatives have been implemented using it?” state=”close”] Skip: LEAN is a holistic approach to focus on the 3Ps.

(Baptist Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer) Dr. Paul DePriest encouraged me to introduce standard work within health care when I first started. Without standards it is very hard to improve. To do that, we started introducing Training Within Industry (TWI), which is one of many building blocks to LEAN or the Baptist Management System (BMS). It tries to get standard work (words on paper) into a standard behavior. For example, if you’re a nurse expert, and you and others outline the best way to draw blood, Training Within Industry (TWI) can help you create a standard behavior among multiple people. Many people throughout our system are participating in it, and we’re seeing success.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Leader: Are hospital team members involved in this?” state=”close”] Skip: Yes. I’ve visited with staff in the hospitals ‒ where the work is created ‒ and talked to people about the obstacles, issues and ideas they have. In the Baptist Management System (BMS) we strongly encourage direct observation. Sometimes you will hear folks using the word Gemba. Gemba is just a Japanese word that means the actual place where value-creating work actually occurs. If you want to understand an issue or problem, you must conduct direct observation, or go to the Gemba.

Skip sends out monthly “Thinking articles,” which encourage team members to embrace new ways to look at how they do their work and puts a focus on purpose, people and processes. If you would like to receive these articles, email