By Lt. Jennifer Davies, AA/PIO
Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility
Since 2014, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO BIZ) has partnered with the Government Operations Agency (GovOps) to offer Lean 6 Sigma training to state agencies to specifically address process-based issues within state departments. Lean 6 Sigma is a powerful data driven methodology focused on improving systems as opposed to blaming individuals.
Industry, manufacturing and military have successfully implemented Lean 6 Sigma tools to reduce waste and inefficiencies while improving quality of services and products to customers.
In 2015, the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility (RJDCF) was invited to participate in this intense, six-month implementation program. Various state agencies were represented in this cohort including the Department of Food and Agriculture, Department of Human Resources, State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Toxic Substances and Control.
RJDCF identified a Senior Psychologist Specialist as their first Green Belt candidate and submitted a project to address medication continuity for inmate-patients returning from community hospitals. The cross-functional project team was comprised of a pharmacist, data analyst, and supervising registered nurse. The project sponsors and champions included the Chief Executive Officer, Chief of Mental Health and the Chief Nurse Executive. At the time of graduation, the team had reached their project goal of 98 percent.
Since 2015, RJDCF has successfully graduated six additional green belts from various departments within the organization including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, mental health and quality management and has two more candidates in the current California Correctional Health Care Services (CCHCS) Green Belt cohort with an anticipated graduation date of December 2018.
RJDCF also has three certified CCHCS black belts, who completed their advanced training earlier this year. The black belts were trained in other methodologies, such as Design for Six Sigma (DFSS), Kaizen and are expected to lead larger scale, statewide projects. The CCHCS black belts also serve as mentors and “coaches” for other green belt candidates statewide.
To complement the six sigma green and black belts, RJDCF has also actively participated in the LEAN White and Yellow Belt training that is offered through Cal HR and CCHCS. As a result over 120 staff at RJDCF, including custody and healthcare, have successfully completed White Belt training and the institution now has 21 staff who have achieved Yellow Belt certification.
Over the past three years, RJDCF has implemented several Lean 6 Sigma projects with custody as a major stakeholder in the process improvement efforts. This partnership and collaboration has resulted in improved working relationships, a better understanding of roles and responsibilities, and streamlined communication across disciplines.
Much of the credit must be given to the executive leadership who has made quality improvement a top priority for the organization. Without this top level support and prioritization, the candidates and projects would not be successful. Moreover, the culture of the organization rests with the executive leadership setting the vision and establishing its priorities.
To learn more about the RJDCF’s Lean 6 Sigma program or if you have questions about the training, contact one of the certified staff at RJDCF:
Kim Black, Health Program Manager I, Green Belt
Mia Farrell, Director of Nursing, Supervising Registered Nurse III, Green Belt
M. Gretchen Deel, Chief Physician & Surgeon, Green Belt
Tera Tran-On, Pharmacist I, Black Belt
Robyn Eatmon, Senior Psychologist Specialist, Master Black Belt Candidate – Region IV
Lisa Groesz, Senior Psychologist Specialist, Master Black Belt Candidate – Region IV