Announcing the Ferrari Award & the Chairman's Quality Awards

We are now entering our 5th year in the arduous journey in transforming our approach to work by changing our culture of leadership, management and worker expectations. Some wags say it takes a decade to really change a business culture. We wouldn't argue with that.

Our management focus, as we have described in 2006, in our paper - Transforming to a Quality Culture-The Henry Ford Production System, is based on a number of key tenets modeled and adapted from manufacturing by novel means to the healthcare environment in order to mirror the Toyota culture.

"Another top Toyota goal is valuing the people in the organization who are expected to drive continuous improvements.

Probably the most significant attribute of the Toyota approach is the establishment of a system culture composed of an empowered workforce. This results in a basic expectation of continuous attention to opportunities for improvement by all staff. This also defines the foundation of work.

The need to continually improve is woven into the fabric of the people and not viewed as a time consuming inconvenience, option, potential reward, or incentive, as often is the perception
in the usual American workforce.

Teamwork is the foundation of process improvement, and it has been proven that individual performers will extend themselves to make the company successful if they are included early on in the decision-making process.

The TPS processes are designed to highlight problems in real time where the work is performed by getting to the root cause and by the person doing the job at the time the problem occurs.

Toyota's success is the result of leadership and employee involvement.

Empowered workers see their daily work in the context of continually making effective process improvements that are designed and tested by the scientific method.

Through this cultural change in management and the resulting continuous quality improvements made at all levels of the workforce, the pace of improvement is often rapid and the processes of work are ever-evolving and optimizing toward a more perfect state."

The energy input required to drive this transformation among the 700 plus staff of these Henry Ford Health System Laboratories is all consuming for many of us. But we now have leaders and a workforce who are intimately familiar with concepts, principles and work rules whose absence or violation explains much of the variation that results in less than optimal quality. These skill sets have enabled us to be flexible, making rapid changes to adapt to laboratory integration, consolidation, staffing adjustments, new 24 hour services and the new outreach business model.

We are very proud to announce that these Henry Ford Laboratories on the Detroit campus have received from Milestone Medical Corporation their first 'Ferrari Laboratory of the Year Award' in recognition as the best organized laboratory that this international corporation has encountered in their travels around the world (attachment).

My personal congratulations to all of you- YOU ARE TRULY WORLD CLASS!

I am very pleased that we are recognized for these unique efforts to establish a fully functional Deming culture with Toyota-inspired worker empowerment that this year alone has resulted in many hundreds of process improvements from the level of the worker.


I would also like to recognize those teams on the Henry Ford Hospital campus who contributed either the most process improvements or experienced the greatest increase in accomplished process improvements in 2009 compared to last year. This year's winners of the first ever Chairman's Quality Award, each team recognized by $100 gift certificates, are:

  • Pathology Informatics AP Team (most 85)
  • Resident Team (greatest increase 266%)
  • Pathology Informatics CP Team (most 175 and )
  • Blood Bank Team (greatest increase 150%)

Congratulations to all teams on a job well done, continuously!!

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