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Introduction – The Frontline View

Dr. John Kenagy has drawn on his years of medical experience and management research to clearly articulate a comprehensive model
for improving healthcare. It’s called Adaptive Design.

Kenagy’s Adaptive Design provides a framework and common language for designing, doing and improving the complex work of healthcare. Because it can be understood and practiced at all organizational levels, it also enables a cultural shift that can transform any clinic, hospital or healthcare system.

Adaptive Design continually moves patient care toward Ideal by embedding the Scientific Method and structured problem solving into everyone’s daily work. Starting in one small place (the Learning Line), this methodology emphasizes providing “Ideal Patient Care,” everyday by everyone. Leadership and management, in turn, become the “Help Chain” to develop and support this frontline focus on excellence.

To put it simply, Kenagy’s Adaptive Design method is an operating system focused on identifying when care is not “Ideal” as a problem to be solved as quickly and simply as possible. The role of management transitions from meetings, gathering data and implementing solutions, to developing and empowering the frontline to systemically solve those problems as they happen. guaranteed at continually lower cost.

Adaptive Design develops people, builds trust and optimism and provides new opportunities for innovation while simultaneously making a difference for patients. This kind of focus and self-reinforcing cycle of improvement is at the heart of what has made Toyota and other select organizations successful decade after decade.

Based on my Mayo Health System experience, I have one word for Kenagy’s Adaptive Design model: Brilliant.

Mark Lindsay, MD
Quality Officer
Mayo Health System

"Adaptive Design and Dr. Kenagy’s book Designed to Adapt: Leading Healthcare in Challenging Times are essential because there is no other way to give patients the healthcare that they need at a price they can afford."

Amy Nyberg
Chief Strategy Officer
Beaver Dam Community
Hospitals