Some closing thoughts to wrap up the patient flow conference
last week at the Bellagio in Vegas... First off, I won something! Dave
Eitel, MD, from York Hospital handed out a couple books each day, and I
got The Lean Six Sigma Pocket Toolbook. It looks great, and I'll have
to add it to my Connectologist's Reading List. Thanks, Dave.

The last day of the conference was mostly an immersion into the Lean
process design methodology. Several process improvement approaches have
come into the health care lexicon in recent years. Six sigma, strongly
promoted by Jack Welch and GE, is probably the best known methodology.
Others include Kaizen, the Toyota Way
and Lean. All of these processes were developed initially to optimize
manufactuiring processes. Lean is the methodology that has gotten the
most traction with folks looking to optimize service delivery. Since
there are no "just in time" patients, health care delivery is much more
about the delivery of services than the manufacture of widgets.

I tried to get some shots of speakers at the conference but the lighting was too low
and my flash too wimpy to get a good shot. So instead the photo
accompanying this post is of a portion of the Dale Chihuly art glass installation in the ceiling above the lobby at the Bellagio. Breathtaking.