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After much discussion and consideration, the ACHE Board of Governors and leadership team have decided to cancel the 2020 Congress on Healthcare Leadership due to the need for leaders and healthcare organizations to manage their responses to coronavirus (COVID-19) within their communities. Learn more at

29X – Margin Improvement Versus Incremental Improvement: Experiences of a CEO and COO

Monday, March 23rd

About the Session

When UMMC deployed a BURST margin improvement approach, it surpassed a $10 million margin improvement in less than eight months. Furthermore, by turning to the internal intellectual capital of its own middle management team, UMMC engaged over 100 middle managers and senior leaders in an “all-hands-on-deck” approach to overcoming the customary objections to external tools like benchmarking, productivity system targets and analytic delays typical of high-reliability and Lean daily management. UMMC’s BURST margin improvement approach consisted of developing leaders to be more creative and to overcome the usual objections to change that protect the status quo. It built an internal team of middle manager coaches to aid their colleagues in increasing the speed of change, and it implemented an accountability structure that stimulated cross-department collaboration versus silo-based approaches customary to productivity systems and benchmarking. Senior leaders worked with middle management to identify and remove systemic barriers to speed of implementation, particularly cumbersome senior-leader vetting, and the approach deployed speed-enabling accountability tools to track bottom-line impact on a real-time basis and spotlight where constraints surfaced. Lastly, it recognized and embraced the centrality of nursing in the change process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Examine how to deploy a BURST margin improvement approach that complements existing incremental methods like high reliability and Lean.
  • Discover how to develop leaders; stimulate creativity and interdepartmental collaboration; and increase speed to implementation and accountability.


Presented By

Kevin S. Cook

University Hospitals & Health System/ University of Mississippi Medical Center

Britt H. Crewse

University of Mississippi Health System