The day we strive for
Mary Washington Healthcare
I am an industrial engineer in the project management and continuous improvement department at Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg, Va. Our department is responsible for process improvement initiatives throughout the hospital. I act as an internal consultant for the healthcare system and guide our executive team, managers and front-line staff toward designing new lean processes that improve clinical and nonclinical outcomes. In addition, my department is in the middle of launching a lean yellow belt program for all associates. I have helped to develop and teach the curriculum.
The mission of Mary Washington Healthcare is to improve the health of the people in the communities we serve. We accomplish this through our fully integrated, regional medical system that provides inpatient and outpatient care through more than 40 facilities and services, including Mary Washington Hospital, a 437-bed regional medical center, and Stafford Hospital, a 100-bed community hospital.
I get the most satisfaction when I can help people see their work processes in a new way and begin to question how work should be done. I also enjoy teaching people about making data-driven decisions. My industrial engineering work comes into play a lot when I complete an analysis and show the process from a different perspective. This information creates a lot of “aha” moments, and we can use the data to guide our performance improvement decisions. It’s extremely rewarding to eliminate the waste and add more value for the patients.
I joined IIE in 2008 as a student at the University of Florida. I became the UF chapter development chair in 2009. I joined IIE’s Society for Health Systems in 2010 while I was completing my master’s degree at Georgia Tech. I was the co-chair of the SHS student academic committee for the 2010-11 year and continued as chair this year. In January 2011 I was named outstanding SHS member of the month.
– Interview by David Brandt
David Brandt is the Web managing editor for IIE.