Posted by: Knightbird | July 7, 2010

Chugachmiut’s Feedback Information System

Our Lean Consultant, Tom Jackson, introduced Chugachmiut to a Lean Improvement Matrix featuring the 7 Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.  For those familiar with Baldrige, Criteria 3 is “Customer Focus.” 3.1 is Market Knowledge and 3.2 is Customer Satisfaction. While we have been good at responding to Customer requests and complaints, we have not had a formal system in place. In other words, we do not have standard work for dealing with customer feedback, Yet. Today I reviewed a Feedback Information System (FIS) A3, and the first work product, the Policies and Procedures we will use to implement the FIS.

The development of our FIS started with a problem statement that said we didn’t have a well understood formalized system (standard work) and that we were not encouraging feedback from our customers, and as a result we were losing valuable improvement data. From there, a process map was developed and refined, a feedback log system investigated, policies and procedures (P&P’s) researched and written, and the appropriate forms put in place. After the P&P’s are approved and the process introduced, we need to train our employees to the standard work and implement the FIS. We also need to promote the FIS to our customers and encourage them to use it (frequently we hope). One obstacle to this type of system (referred to in many other organizations as a complaint management system) that we found about 5 years ago is that our patients loved our health care providers and didn’t want to get them in trouble. As a result, they weren’t quick to lodge complaints. With our Lean philosophy, we need to convince our customers that their feedback will not be used to blame or shame employees. We are using the information to fix poor processes.

A Baldrige corollary to Criteria 3 is found in Criteria 4, Knowledge Management. When we preserve this knowledge about our customer journeys, we have valuable information we can use to improve that journey. In other words, we will be tracking our customer experience better, and they will help identify “Treasures” we can use to improve our systems.

We used a cross divisional, cross functional team to develop our FIS, as is common practice at Chugachmiut. I also want to point out that we considered this a “Hoshin” which meant that I went to a Division Director with interest, resources and time to ask if she would accept this as a project. She agreed and contacted her peers about participation on the team. The Leadership Team was excited about this effort because, in our Lean Management System, we focus on fixing defects and problems. They are not afraid of information others might view as criticism because we don’t consider it criticism. Instead, this is information we need to continue to improve and add value in the services we provide to our customers.

I am blessed with a great Executive Team, and they are blessed with caring and excellent staffs.


  1. Great Team! It only goes to say that they all have a clear grasp of the end in mind of everything you tackle…

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