IU Health Team Pioneers “Fair & Just Culture” in Northwest Indiana!

IU Health Team

In pursuit of a high quality and safe environment for patients and colleagues, Indiana University Health La Porte Hospital has created a fair and just culture that stresses fixing processes rather than blaming employees, said G. Thor Thordarson, president/CEO, IU Health LaPorte Hospital. In shifting from a “blame culture” in which employees are typically criticized for errors, the quality reporting system invites employees to report problems so they can be solved collaboratively. In addition, the hospital is creatively using the tools of LEAN Six Sigma to achieve results in quality and safety. For example, teams have been meeting in “rapid improvement events,” where they spend a full work week focusing on a single opportunity for improvement, with the goal of implementing the action plan in 30 days. “Our approach is to identify a reason for action, find solutions, and improve processes, creating standard work that becomes the new way forward,” he said. The LEAN program was launched by members of the executive team about five years ago. It is driving a cultural transformation that puts the patient experience at the center of all work. The hospital has seen patient satisfaction scores rise, costs to the patient and the health system come down, and utilization decrease while quality of care increased. Financially, the hospital has doubled net revenue over the last six years. Moreover, IU Health La Porte Hospital has received national acclaim from AARP, Consumer Reports and other media for its blame-free culture involving 1,500 employees at more than 40 sites in five counties. “We truly appreciate the national recognition, and will continue to focus our efforts on creating the best patient experience,” President Thordarson said.

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