Answering the Call to Action: Bridging Quality Improvement and Environmental Sustainability

Last month I summarized the special topic plenary “Environmental Sustainability and the Triple Aim:  A Call to Action” at the 2013 Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Annual Forum in this blog post.

I said my friends at the Healthier Hospitals Initiative (HHI) would take one step to answer the call. We sketched a plan to introduce quality improvement specialists to the HHI’s Leaner Energy Challenge. From personal experience, we know that standard QI skills in plotting data, creating regression models, and using control charts can help facility and sustainability managers see whether energy performance of their facilities is improving or not.

Many of the facility and sustainability managers we’ve met in health care don’t have the time or background to use those standard QI skills.  But, almost every healthcare organization has a QI specialist — improvement advisor, lean coach, or black belt — who has the skills. With a modest investment of time, the QI specialist can tackle the energy performance question and help the organization improve environmental performance.

So, we’re inviting our colleagues in the QI community to learn a few energy terms, take a look at standard data tools like ENERGY STAR®’s Portfolio Manager, and roll up their sleeves to make one or more energy models that will shed light on energy performance. QI specialists can find new friends and allies in the facilities and sustainability departments and help your organization link your healthcare mission to environmental performance.

The series, sponsored by HHI, is now official: we’ve scheduled the sessions, invited the guest speakers, and outlined the materials.
Thursday, February 27, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 EDT
This session will provide an overview of energy concepts and terms and the use of QI methods to measure facility improvement. The Call will introduce participants to ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager and to HHI Leaner Energy Challenge details.  

Assignment: Participants will be asked to find out if their organization uses Portfolio Manager and whether hospitals in their organization have signed up with HHI.

Thursday, March 13, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 EDT
This session will review the assignment and continue discussion of data, tests, standard work, predictions, and a case study from Wisconsin. Our technical topic will include how to model monthly energy use, to detect the impact of operations changes.

Assignment: Model energy use at a hospital, given monthly energy use and monthly weather data. Assess the impact of changes to operations. Is there any evidence that the facility has improved energy performance?

Option:  Model energy use at participants’ own facility rather than the common assignment.

Thursday March 27, 2014, 2:00 – 3:00 EDT
The final call in the series will review the modeling assignment and extend the modeling focus to look at daily, hourly, and 15-minute data, stressing the benefits and applications.  We will discuss how to connect quality team with Facilities Team for maximum engagement.

Now it’s time for you to sign up:

To register, visit the Healthier Hospitals Initiative Website and register under Leaner Energy Webinars and Sharing Calls. Dial in will be received upon registration.

We look forward to working with you starting on 27 February!

Another Example of "You can See A Lot by Just Looking "Daily Temperature and Electric Energy Use"

Model for Improvement and Hill Climbing