- I was struck by the Maturity Model and a recent discussion I’d had with a technology vendor. This vendor develops and installs “patient tracking” and “capacity management” software. Yet, they are now having to hire entire teams of “optimization experts” because their clients often do not see the benefits the software is meant to provide. Why? Well, it is obvious that the operational models into which the technology is being placed are not suited for its use. That is, the operational models are at one level of sophistication/maturity and the software is at another. Thus, because the software cannot support a certain level of optimization that doesn’t exist, its “utility” for the organization is reduced. I thought of the QMS model and the necessary standards for an organization that are required in order that an organization might benefit from new technologies meant to improve operational performance. One cannot get the latter without first understanding the organization’s current level of operational and management sophistication (or lack thereof). Furthermore, without an alignment of the operational models and the software which is meant to support and improve them, the results will almost always be sub-optimized.
- Stage 3 of the QMS model requires a detailed understanding of the external operational interdependencies that could impact any pilot outcome. So, as a simplistic example, implementing the QMS in Emergency Department triage will only work if one understands that the performance of this function is largely dependent upon upstream and downstream operations. Thus implementing change to one element of a system should be done within the context of the interdependencies of that element and the rest of the system that might impact its results. Without at least that acknowledgement, any improvement system risks being seen as ineffective as the interdependencies limit improvement opportunities. Thus, in some cases, one has to disregard outcomes as one focuses on ensuring that the 10 QSEs are in place, since without those the system won’t improve even in ideal circumstances. Only when the 10 are in place and functional, and are then spread up- and downstream, can the pilot area see the kind of improvements that are hoped for from the QMS implementation.
What do you think?