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Memorial Health System


Memorial Health System Uses KaiNexus to Create a Culture of CI


Memorial Health System (MHS) is located in Southwestern Ohio and serves both Ohio and West Virginia. MHS is a not-for-profit integrated health system led by a volunteer board of community members committed to providing comprehensive care services that meet the needs of the region. Today, the Memorial Health System employs over 2,700 employees, including 325 providers representing 64 clinics. The system, in total, works with over 500 physicians representing over 40 specialties who strive to deliver quality, affordable care with an additional focus on medical education and community service.

Mike McGowan, Director of Process Excellence, has led the Process Excellence team since 2014. 

Throughout MHS's improvement journey, they used paper A3s and Excel to accomplish and track their projects. However, handling this process manually led to a lack of visibility, errors, and difficulty collaborating across the organization. 

After facing these challenges, their CFO wanted to find software to accomplish this work instead of doing it manually. Although their CFO was interested in another platform, Mike knew other platforms could help them achieve much more. That's when Mike found KaiNexus. 

The team initially started tackling improvement on a project basis, but quickly found that improvements often didn’t stick. They realized that additional leadership and training for the organization were needed. They developed a set of five roles that would determine the level of training necessary for each employee.

The roles include:

White Belts – White belts are the front-line staff. They go through a 2-hour workshop that covers the basic structure, goals, and vocabulary of Lean/Six Sigma. During the workshop, White Belts are trained to enter opportunities for improvement into the KaiNexus improvement management system. White Belts serve as participants on project improvement teams.

Yellow Belts – Yellow Belts are typically department heads or leaders. They go through a 2-day workshop that gives them even more insight into continuous improvement practices and tools. Following the training, Yellow Belts do a pilot project that involves using Lean tools like value stream mapping and KPIs. They eventually lead project teams and assist with White Belt training.

Green Belts – Yellow Belts can become Green Belts when they’ve completed three A3 improvement projects under the direction of a Black Belt. They are critical leaders in improvement work.

Black Belts – Black Belts work directly with leaders to identify gaps and select improvement projects. They are responsible for spreading Lean/Six Sigma culture and are involved in training team members at all levels.

Champion – The Champion is an executive who helps select priorities for improvement and removes any barriers to change.

How is Memorial Health Doing?

As they look to continue to grow with KaiNexus, their next challenge is to start formally reporting incidents in KaiNexus. 

Currently, employees can share safety ideas during the daily safety huddle, and the Patient Safety Committee, which oversees all things safety, will submit any incidents into the system. Weekly, the Committee will review overdue or stagnant Items to ensure they are moving along. Last year, they built a Safety Huddle Board to track progress on incidents in the system. Jennifer Meek, Clinical Risk Manager/Patient Safety Officer, has created a routine for herself to review this Board daily and see what she can help to move along. 

But, the process of the Safety Committee submitting and managing the incidents was becoming too much for just a few people to manage. So, they decided to allow the current Users to submit incidents themselves. 

They started this new process by rolling this out to a small sister hospital in West Virginia with almost 80 employees. Over just six months, they had 80+ issues identified, and they were able to fix many of these issues brought to their attention because of the platform. 

This success catalyzed the VP to give the green light to roll out incident reporting in KaiNexus to their current User base. As they begin to roll out this new process to their KaiNexus Users, they will make sure to start simple.


"My advice is to keep things simple - the simpler, the better when trying to engage Frontline staff." - Jennifer Meek, Clinical Risk Manager/Patient Safety Officer. 

Watch this Webinar to hear Mike share real-life work MHS accomplishes in KaiNexus.

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