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Welcome to Episode #38 of Habitual Excellence, presented by Value Capture.

Our guest today is Matt Pollard, MD, MBOE, the Vice President of Continuous Improvement Intermountain Healthcare. Matt is an emergency physician and has a master's degree from the Masters of Business in Operational Excellence program at The Ohio State University (learn more about the program in this episode).

In today's episode, host Mark Graban asks Matt about topics including:

  • How did you take such an interest in healthcare quality improvement?
  • What inspired your interest and why did you almost leave healthcare?
  • Who were your key mentors?
  • How did you come to see the importance of the management / operating system?
  • What did you learn by visiting Seattle Children's Hospital and Virginia Mason Medical Center?
  • Tell us about your Idea System and how it's different than a suggestion system...
  • How do you turn continuous improvement from a goal statement into a daily reality?
  • How do you measure progress, what are your KPIs?
  • How are you shifting time from budgeting to real improvement cycles?



"I was really frustrated. I considered leaving medicine. [Two colleagues said] Hey, would you be interested?<br />

"After I came back from that trip [to Seattle Children's and Virginia Mason], I decided I'm going to jump into this. And part of my career shifted towards process and quality improvement. I still do identify first as a physician. That's my DNA."

"If you have a plan to implement continuous improvement or Lean, and you don't have a plan to involve your physicians, then you're going to fall short because we drive the cost in healthcare. We drive the processes."

"We now have a very robust idea system where anybody in the entire organization can see a problem and suggest an idea. So it's not a suggestion box."

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