How Much is that Doggie in the Window?



There is definitely gold being made by the current "in" brands for health care change management.

Last year the registered non-profit IHI (the Institute for Healthcare Improvement) reported revenues of $42 million USD and expenses of $41 million USD. This income derives from continuing education for health care professionals in the principles of process improvement. Prices per person are considerable: participation in traditional group courses ($2000), on-line courses ($300), in person training ($10,000-$16,000), conferences national ($1300) and international ($2600) and "collectives" which are sets of small teams from various institutions getting facilitated focus on a single topic for one year ($20,000-$40,000).

LEAN doesn't have a single organizational focus, but like its immediate predecessor, Six-Sigma, is promulgated by a loose collection of for-profit consulting organizations. One such group, John Black and Associates, has a $40 million contract with the province of Saskatchewan to introduce LEAN concepts across the health care system there. In addition the province is paying out vastly more than that to support administration, staff and physician training and implementation efforts. Physicians, for example, are paid $190 per hour to attend LEAN training and $150 per hour to participate in improvement projects. LEAN has its own set of training requirements and certifications in LEAN Leadership and KPO/KOT Support. LEAN training is offered in the manufacturing industry at three levels: Bronze ($720 to take the exam); Silver ($1360) and Gold ($2000). Six Sigma training in organizational analysis is still available with fees charged to individuals seeking the colored "belts" indicating training levels: $2000 for a green belt to $4000 for a black belt. The number of belt colors, and training programs, has grown over time with white, yellow and orange now available in addition to second and higher degrees of black.

These doggies are not cheap. Are they worth it? The answer depends on the value attached to the "badge" versus the underlying KSAs.  We will esxplore that question next post.

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