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Author Bio

Stephen Hess

Stephen Hess joined Health Catalyst as a Data Architect in January 2012. Prior to Health Catalyst, he was a project manager and a certified Lean Six Sigma black belt at Xerox Corporation where he worked for thirteen years in the business-services division. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Utah.

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Stephen Hess

Five Practical Steps Towards Healthcare Data Governance

Health systems increasingly recognize data as one of their top strategic assets, but how many organization have the processes and frameworks in place to protect their data? Without effective data governance, organizations risk losing trust in their data and its value in process and outcomes improvement; a 2018 survey indicated less than half of healthcare CIOs have strong trust in their data.
By following five steps towards data governance, health systems can effectively steward data and grow and maintain trust in it as a critical asset:

Identify the organizational priorities.
Identify the data governance priorities.
Identify and recruit the early adopters.
Identify the scope of the opportunity appropriately.
Enable early adopters to become enterprise data governance leaders and mentors.

Stephen Hess

Healthcare Culture: Choosing a Systems-Based Approach Over Punishment and Reward

It’s often human nature to look for a culprit or hero when there’s a setback or success. In healthcare, however, this punishment-and-reward formula puts patient outcomes at risk, as it doesn’t consider all factors that contribute to a result and lead to a better process.
The key to failure or success is most likely a chain of events, and not an individual action. To avoid the same mistake again or build on good practices, healthcare leaders must look at the system, not the individual or their actions. Effective improvement leadership will standby a systems approach, even under the most challenging circumstances.

Jason Burke
Stephen Hess

Lean Principles in Healthcare: 2 Important Tools Organizations Must Have

The transition from fee-for-service to value-based reimbursement is driving many healthcare systems to fine-tune processes and work waste out of the system. In the search for quality improvement tools there has been much buzz surrounding lean, touted for its ability to remove waste from processes. Many have tried lean and, failing to achieve any sustainable benefit, are learning that applying lean principles to healthcare can be quite difficult. The lean approach isn’t a magic potion. Sustainable change will never become real without a committed organization dedicated to making it a reality. Lean, or any quality improvement tool, works in healthcare only when it is part of a larger initiative driving real cultural change.