New ... And improved?

The applied sciences, or as most in American call it “quality improvement”, is currently undergoing another phase of rebranding due to the serious need imposed upon American healthcare by CMS to move from volume to value (quality/cost).

And this has caused another influx of “new methodologies” aimed at increasing the rate of improvement.  More often than not, these are attempts to “bottle and sell” improvement as some complicated series of FINITE STEPS that MUST be done in a set order.

This is not how our “real messy world” works.  Instead, this is the “research mentality” that is an unfortunate consequence of American colleges rewarding tenure to professors that publish research.  Because of this unique reward system, improvement (the “applied sciences”) are rarely taught in American universities.

There is no doubt research is needed to determine WHAT works, but in the reality of a busy complicated healthcare organization we need the applied sciences to uncover HOW to make something work NOW

“Think of research as “Plan, Do, Study, PUBLISH” and improvement, the applied sciences, as “plan, Do, Study, ACT”, as in … ACT on what we learned NOW!”

– Improvement Advisor

The original “brand” Deming and Juran used to lift post-war Japan out of ruins and in to the position of the 3rd largest economy in the World are the “applied sciences”.  This “science for the real world” has a set of core fundamentals that have been proven get hard results.

“Do I have a black belt in physics … have you been getting enough sleep? What’s a “black belt scientist” look like?”

– A retired physicist