Best Practices for System Transformation Part 1: Supporting Operations and Innovation

Previous articles on this blog have given an overview of how SCF transformed its system upon taking responsibility for primary care for the Alaska Native community in southern Alaska. Before, during, and after the transformation, SCF listened to the Alaska Native community and collected their feedback about what they wanted from the health care system, and that feedback formed, and continues to form, the core of all change implemented at SCF. These articles will go more in-depth about certain elements of SCF’s system transformation and how we accomplished our journey toward quality health care for the customer-owners we serve.

One thing we realized as a result of collecting customer-owner feedback is that we needed to support change and innovation on a systemic level in order to be responsive to their concerns. To do this, we recognized that it is important to put resources into both operations (what needs to happen today to get work done) and innovation (what needs to change to get work done in the future). To this end, we implemented the Functional Committee Structure (FCS), which is based in part on what we learned from Baldrige on our improvement journey.

At SCF, the FCS is made up of four committees that work to ensure a balance across the functions that SCF must pay attention to:

  • Operations. This committee operates the current systems and processes of SCF. It encompasses things like Human Resources, Finance, Policies and Procedures, Customer Service, Facilities, and more.
  • Quality Assurance. SCF operates in a heavily regulated environment, so this committee ensures that we are in compliance with regulations and standards. It encompasses things like Compliance, Accreditations, Risk Management, Safety, and other areas.
  • Process Improvement. This committee works to improve our systems and structures to deliver services. It encompasses things like Strategic Planning, Research, Data Analysis and Tracking, and more.
  • Quality Improvement. This committee works to improve the quality of services offered by SCF. It focuses on Primary Care, Dental, Behavioral Health, and more.

The committees report to SCF’s leadership team and provide a structure for cross-organizational and cross-discipline participation in improvement and innovation. Employees at different levels sit on these committees to ensure that we have robust input. The FCS plays a key role in our strategic planning cycle and helps us ensure that the care we offer meets customer-owner needs, and that we are responsive to customer-owner feedback.

Continue reading Best Practices for System Transformation Part 2: Strategic Planning.