Updated: Mar 19
Camille Clark Wallin, Certified Lean Practitioner
Some people come to the field of performance improvement and measurement from business process management, auditing or information technology. Others come with a background in Six Sigma or data analysis. Camille came to the field with a background in informatics and lean methodologies. Read on to learn how these two disciplines gave Camille a strong foundation for her job in performance improvement.
Camille first became exposed to quality improvement while working for a specialty chemical company in the 1990s. A division of Merck at the time, the company embraced Total Quality Management (TQM), an approach where employees continuously improve their ability to provide products and services that are of value to the customer. TQM draws heavily upon tools and techniques of quality control. TQM was later surpassed by ISO 9000, lean manufacturing techniques, and Six Sigma.
While working at Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis, OR, Camille received training on Lean Six Sigma. Some organizations adopt Lean Six Sigma to realize the benefits of these two complementary approaches. Lean methodologies seek to improve processes by reducing waste, redundancy and inefficiencies, while Six Sigma focuses on reducing or eliminating defects and variability in processes. Both help organizations improve the quality of their products or services. Camille liked that improvement was considered a continuous cycle, rather than done once and then hope for the best!
Camille left the high-tech sector to work with healthcare information systems, beginning at Salem Health and later at Oregon State Hospital (OSH). Salem Health has fully embraced lean methodologies to improve processes and streamline workflows throughout its hospitals, clinics and labs. Additional training and practical application of lean tools at Salem Health further increased her interest and appetite for all things lean.
While at Salem Health, Camille began studying biomedical informatics. Biomedical informatics is a multidisciplinary field that uses health information technology to improve health care outcomes by improving quality, reducing errors and increasing efficiencies. The pattern was becoming clear: Camille enjoyed using tools and techniques to improve organizational performance. When a Lean Leader position became available at OSH, she jumped at the opportunity. Where else could she facilitate process improvement efforts utilizing lean tools and techniques, and work with improvement teams to draft operating policies, procedures and implementation strategies to enhance healthcare systems and processes?
Camille’s interest in lean methodologies lead her to pursue certification as a Lean Practitioner through Portland State University.* Given her desire and commitment to applying her skills and expertise in a healthcare setting, she became a Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ). The four areas covered in the national exam are 1) organizational leadership, 2) health data analytics, 3) performance and process improvement, and 4) patient safety. Now that’s a winning combination!
When not learning about process improvement techniques and healthcare quality, Camille enjoys reading detective and horror stories, watching foreign/artsy films, and has recently taken up beadwork.
* PSU has since combined their lean practitioner, lean leadership and Six Sigma programs into a single Process Improvement program.
[Article written by: Camille Clark Wallin, Lean Practioner, Oregon State Hospital.]