Lloyd Provost

With an education in statistics, Lloyd works as an advisor to organizations, helping them make improvements in their products and services and increase their capacity to continually learn and improve. His experience includes consulting in planning, management systems, measurement, planned experimentation, and other methods for improvement of quality and productivity. Lloyd has advised clients worldwide in a variety of industries including computers, health care, chemical, manufacturing, engineering, construction, automotive, electronics, food, transportation, professional services, retail, education, and government. Through API's partnership with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), Lloyd is a senior fellow and serves as an improvement advisor supporting IHI's innovation and improvement programs. He serves as faculty for IHI's Improvement Advisor Professional Development Program and supports IHI's programs in developing countries. Lloyd has a Bachelor of Science in Statistics from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Science in Statistics from the University of Florida. He is the author of several papers relating to quality and measurement and co-author of books on planned experimentation and the science of improvement Quality Improvement Through Planned Experimentation (2nd edition, McGraw-Hill, 1998) and The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance (Jossey-Bass, 2009). He was the year 2003 recipient of the Deming Medal awarded by the American Society for Quality.

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Four Essential Ways Control Charts Guide Healthcare Improvement

Control charts are a critical asset to any health system seeking effective, sustainable improvement. With a simple three-line format, control charts show process change over time, including the average of the data, upper control limit, and lower control limit. This insight helps improvement teams monitor projects, understand opportunities and the impact of initiatives, and sustain improved processes.

Also known as Shewhart charts or statistical process control charts, control charts drive effective improvement by addressing three fundamental questions:

1. What is the goal of the improvement project?
2. How will the organization know that a change is an improvement?
3. What change can the organization make that will result in improvement?

A Guide to Applying Quality Improvement to Healthcare: Five Principles

Healthcare is an art and a science. What many in the industry don’t understand is that systems and processes can coexist with personalized care. Quality improvement methods can be as effective in healthcare as they have been in other industries (e.g., agriculture, manufacturing, etc.).

Quality improvement in healthcare is not just achievable, it’s an absolute necessity given the amount of wasteful spending in the U.S. on healthcare. Organizations can reduce this wasteful spending while improving their processes by applying these five guiding principles:

1. Facilitate adoption through hands-on improvement projects.
2. Define quality and get agreement.
3. Measure for improvement, not accountability.
4. Use a quality improvement framework and PDSA cycles.
5. Learn from variation in data.

By using these principles and starting small, organizations can quicken the pace of quality improvement in healthcare.

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