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Innovation Hero Finalist: Dr. Paul Levy, NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital

2 min read

Dr. Paul Levy, MBA
NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital

When Memphis-based Baptist Health Care announced what it intended to bring to the east Arkansas college community of Jonesboro, it was clear the $400-million project would be a game-changer in the state’s health care community. And the resulting 770,000-SF integrated health care facility situated on 85 acres has not disappointed.

The dimensions of the three-building campus are impressive enough: a 181-bed, six-story hospital; a five-story, 220,000-SF physician clinic, connected at each level to the hospital and a free-standing 34,000-SF state of the art cancer center on the north side of campus.

As impressive as the physical dimensions and features of the new medical center are, it’s not some new plasma knife, cancer treatment or rehab technique that’s made the biggest difference, but an initiative to embrace change and welcome innovation. For that, the credit goes to Dr. Paul Levy, MBA.

“Because health care’s business model is evolving into a value-based enterprise, we must understand the concept of value,” Levy said. “Innovation can be value-added in health care’s value proposition by improving quality, access and cost.”

Levy has led the effort to implement a change initiative at the hospital. The standardized approach to process improvement is based on W. Edward Deming’s cyclical scientific iteration model of Plan, Do, Study, Adjust. Simple though it sounds, the concept of embracing change was a monumental challenge.

“Any paradigm shift is difficult for professionals who have trained for many years,” Levy said. “The new change process was the challenge; understanding the current state was the important initial step. After that, our process improvement initiatives took flight.”

The new mindset of welcoming — even seeking out — change has already brought about improvements, including successfully eliminating access barriers in the operating room, improving first case, on-time starts from 38 percent to 73 percent over a nine-month period and identifying and eliminating waste in daily routines by Deming’s model. The initiative has successfully reduced production costs, improved through-put and reduced stakeholder frustration while saving an annualized $300,000.

“We now have a culture of ‘can-do’ when it comes to change as the PDSA process can be experienced on many of our hospital units,” Levy said. “The change process is understood and omnipresent at NEA Baptist Memorial Hospital.”

NEA Baptist Medical Campus opened for patient move-in Jan. 12, 2014. The integrated health care facility is the largest single investment Baptist Health Care has made in a community and the largest investment in Arkansas health care in the last decade.


» Change initiative helps maximize use of one-year old, $40 million integrated medical campus, opened January, 2014

» Change initiative is based on W. Edward Deming’s cyclical scientific iteration model of Plan, Do, Study, Adjust.

» To date, adoption of change initiative has reduced wait time, eliminated waste and upped customer service while saving $300,000 annually

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