The Critical Few Measures

Posted on July 3, 2012 by


There is a wealth of data here at King County. Data takes the form of reports, reporting tools and methods, exceptions to reconcile between systems, and much more. While there has been lots of progress in refining reporting capabilities within areas at Jail Health, there is still lots of work to do in developing a value stream wide measurement system. Often times, there is data that is isolated or has little value to teams who perform the daily work. All too often, it shows information about unit or team efficiency without any downstream or upstream linkage. So how is a value stream measurement system different? A value stream measurement system is different in that it measures capability of the entire system of value that flows laterally. It needs to be based on customer requirements for quality, cost, delivery, safety that are then translated into process standards for teams to meet consistently and reliably.

For example, if we look at the jail health psych patient requirement “safety without isolation,” how would we translate that requirement into a measure as well as new standard processes that often cross different functional departments. This approach offers an opportunity to test fundamentally new ideas and models for how DAJD and JHS interacts with patients, and what changes in housing saftey and care delivery will maximize safety without isloation. When teams can see the impacts of their daily interventions as measured against patient requirements, it can help them find more meaning to their work. Instead of completing a set of daily tasks (some of which mandated, non-value added, or arbitrary), we can discover new ways to create value based on what our patient really needs.