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The California Sutter Health Approach

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Sutter Heath is nonprofit organization which is headquartered in Sacramento, California. It provides health care and other hospital services to patients in over a hundred communities in Northern Californian towns and cities. Its doctors and other health service providers share expertise so as to advance access to Medicare. The organization is named after its Californian pioneer, John Sutter. Its establishment followed epidemics that occurred around fort Sutter. These tragic events prompted community leaders to construct a Sutter Hospital with an aim replacing an adobe structure that previously served as an improvised health facility.

Sutter Health has been implementing other programs that facilitate patients’ welfare. For instance, according to Souza and McCarty, the organization is in a process of implementing strategies that are focused on offering discounted medical care to uninsured Californians. As a network of California’s most qualified medical organizations, Sutter Health is able to provide services such as cardiac and cancer care as well as women and children services at an advanced level of safety technology to the less fortunate members of the society (Gamble, 2011). The 21st century technology has facilitated advancement in Sutter Health. In fact, this organization was among the first to employ the bar code technology in its intensive care units so as to increase medical safety.

In addition to providing health services, Californian Sutter Health has dedicating effort towards lean practices such as hospital designing. To implement such lean projects, Sutter Health refers to “five big ideas” which are recommended to project teams (Souza & McCarty, 2007). The first idea is collaboration. Design is carried out after an interactive discussion with all stakeholders. Secondly, there are increased relations amongst all the project participants. In building health care facilities, collaboration, innovation and extensive learning are required as these projects are long-term and complex. Failed relations may lead to hindrances such as poor delivery of projects capital and difficulties in altering the design. Thirdly, projects should be networks of commitments. Projects require good coordination and thus, management has a duty to activate and articulate unequaled networks. They are also entitled to bring coherence to such networks in times when uncertain future is evident, thus creating a certain future with other project participants. Fourth, optimize the project as a whole and not in pieces. Priorities should be given to the whole project since failure of one piece is ultimately failure of the whole project. In some circumstances, managers may be forced to press their employees to speed up and lowering the cost of operations, hence a shoddy work being done. In Sutter Health, there is a greater opportunity as well as responsibility to ensuring reduction of workers exposure to risks during the construction of the projects. This results to more than 50% safety improvements on the work site.  The fifth and the final idea is learning a firmly couple action. A continuous improvement of schedule, overall project value and cost is possible when project participants learn by effectively engaging in it.

In their team selection, Sutter Health looks forward to forming project teams’ from the construction and design community. Facility Planning and Development Department focuses on forming an all inclusive project team, which does not allow for bosses and slaves but they are based on the principle of equality. The selection of construction managers, and architects is a competitive process and transparent and done early to ensure their innovation and participation. Sutter Health has based its risk management on several approaches. One of them is shared risk, aiming at reducing the risk of the entire project. Commercial terms also require a joint managing of contingency funds that are available to compensate risks that are not eliminated. Sutter Health aims at raising the design’s quality by maintaining that design costs be sustained through a resource encumbered work plan. Disputes that arise are jointly managed as well. Sutter Health does this aiming maximization of an opportunity designed for party-controlled dispute elimination. While developing their incentives, Sutter Health rewards the construction and the design team for achieving a superior performance and having successfully exceeded the project prospects and targets. Again, Sutter Health uses the incentives to encourage a higher performance founded upon their goals (Parrish et al, 2008). Sutter Health puts challenges to their vendors, to learn skills that are required in planning for Lean Project Delivery.

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