A Winning Combination: Human Centered Design and Performance Improvement

Presenter: Dennis Deas, Managing Director, Kaiser Permenante, Denver, CO, USA

Co-Presenter: Bryan Collins, MBB, Kaiser Permenante, San Francisco, CA, USA

Keywords: Human Centered Design, Process Improvement, Healthcare

Industry: Healthcare

Level: Intermediate


Performance improvement methodologies can be considered as the backbone of healthcare quality and patient safety improvements occurring over the past two decades. Healthcare organizations pursue excellence by systematically identifying improvement opportunities and implementing initiatives to eliminate defects and enhance existing care processes and pathways.

Over the years, as the concepts, principles, tools and techniques of various improvement methodologies demonstrated their value in a wide range of disciplines and organizations, they began to be codified into easily taught and implemented packages designed for either a particular system or for a particular audience of practitioners. Chief among these are:

• Dr. W. Edwards Deming – System of Profound Knowledge

• Joseph Juran – Pareto Principle and Juran Trilogy

• Taichii Ohno – Toyota Production System (5 core principles)

What ALL these approaches are in agreement with is that the key focus in any effort to improve a system, its processes, or its results/products/services is to begin with the patient, the customer, the people doing the work. Human-centered design (HCD) supports PI and allows a more complete understanding of people and supports patients, family members, staff, and providers in collaborating to understand ambiguous challenges and develop innovative solutions to address them.

This presentation will answer how organizations can successfully leverage both systems-based change management from performance improvement and human-centered approaches to understanding problems and finding solutions.