Content By Davis Balestracci

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By: Davis Balestracci

Recently, I’ve had a sad, increasing sense of déjà vu. Twitter has become even more vacuous, and LinkedIn has quickly devolved into a business version of Facebook. Literally right after I finished this draft, I read a newspaper headline: “Twitter Use Eroding Intelligence. Now there’s data to prove it.”

Peter Block suggested a radical solution 20 years ago: new conversations. From a 1999 article of his: 

Davis Balestracci’s picture

By: Davis Balestracci

In most healthcare settings, workers attend weekly, monthly, or quarterly meetings where performances are reported, analyzed, and compared to goals in an effort to identify trends. Reports often consist of month-to-month comparisons with “thumbs up” and “thumbs down” icons in the margins, as well as the alleged trend of the past three months or the current month, previous month, and 12 months ago.

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By: Davis Balestracci

During recent visits to Twitter and LinkedIn, I’ve become increasingly shocked by the devolution of the posts to vacuous nonsense. I felt a Network moment of, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!”

Davis Balestracci’s picture

By: Davis Balestracci

“People think that if you collect enormous amounts of data you are bound to get the right answer. You are not bound to get the right answer unless you are enormously smart.”
Bradley Efron

Davis Balestracci’s picture

By: Davis Balestracci

I always enjoy my fellow columnist Arun Hariharan’s musings. He has worked in the field of quality for more than 30 years and, like me, has obtained reasonable results. But he has also made his share of the inevitable growing-pain mistakes—lessons we both had to learn the hard way in an environment totally different from today’s.

I would like to share some of his thoughts about qualities that make one successful as an improvement professional regardless of circumstances. This column will focus on one of the most important.

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By: Davis Balestracci

During the early 1990s, I was president of the Twin Cities Deming Forum. I had a wonderful board whose members were full of great ideas. One member, Doug Augustine, was a 71-year-old retired Lutheran minister and our respected, self-appointed provocateur. He never missed an opportunity to appropriately pull us right back to reality with his bluntly truthful observations and guaranteed follow through on every commitment he made.

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By: Davis Balestracci

Customer satisfaction surveys are all the rage these days. Healthcare has a couple of “800 pound gorilla” surveyors whose services (and nontrivial expense) have been pretty much forced upon it. In many cases, targets are set that are used to drive reimbursement.

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By: Davis Balestracci

Because of a growing movement in the health insurance industry toward not reimbursing hospitals for any expenses caused by a system-acquired infection, one health system made efforts to improve its infection rate starting in the last quarter of 2016. In June 2017, a year-over-year graph was presented to show progress to date.

Despite the impressive progress, there was obviously more work to do to eradicate these “should never happen events”:

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By: Davis Balestracci

The Individuals chart is the “Swiss Army knife” of control charts. It usually approximates the supposedly “correct” chart under most conditions, and its use is much easier to understand and explain. It can also save you a major side trip into the swamp of unnecessary calculation minutiae, especially avoiding square roots!

Davis Balestracci’s picture

By: Davis Balestracci

During the early 1990s, I was president of the Twin Cities Deming Forum. I had a wonderful board to work with, one of whom was Doug Augustine, our self-appointed provocateur. Doug was a 71-year-old retired Lutheran minister, and we all loved him because he always pulled us right back to earth with his bluntly truthful observations and followed through on every commitment he made.