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Paul E. Plsek
1005 Allenbrook Lane
Roswell, Georgia 30075
||AT&T Bell Laboratories, Quality Assurance Center. Various engineering
and management positions developing quality assurance plans for products
and services used in the provisioning of telecommunications services.|
||AT&T Corporate Headquarters, Director of Corporate Quality Planning.
Responsible for the planning and deployment of modern quality management
systems throughout AT&T following the divestiture of the Bell System.|
||Consultant in Quality Management, Paul E. Plsek
& Associates, Inc. Offering consulting in Total Quality Management
to various industries, most notably, health care. A partial list of clients
includes: AT&T, Blue Cross, Hewlett Packard, Mars, Shell (England),
Upjohn, Washington Gas, Green Mountain Power, the Brigham and Women's Hospital
in Boston, the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont, the HMO Group, VHA, The
Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the Healthcare Forum, The Mayo Clinic,
the SSM Health Care System, Healthpartners Minneapolis, the Buffalo General
Hospital, DeKalb Medical Center, St. John's Health Center in Wyoming, the
Providence Medical Center in Portland, the Allegheny General Hospital in
Pittsburgh, the Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, the Virginia Mason Medical
Center in Seattle, the Prudential Healthcare System Southern Region, the
Baptist Hospital in Memphis, Kaiser-Permanente, Healthsource, the Ontario
Healthcare CQI Network (Canada), Bispebjerg Hospital (Denmark), The National
Health Service (Britain), the Aga Khan Health System (Africa, Pakistan,
and India), The National Health Service (Sweden), the Middle Eastern Healthcare
B.S. Electrical Engineering. Texas A&M University, 1977. With high
M.S. Electrical Engineering (Systems Engineering). Polytechnic Institute
of New York, Brooklyn, 1979. With high honors.
Co-chair, American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) National Quality
Month Planning Committee. (1984-1991)
Editorial Review Board, Quality Press Books, ASQC. (1989-present)
Editorial Review Board, Quality Progress, ASQC. (1989-present)
Vice Chair, Editorial Review Board, Quality Progress, ASQC.
Associate Editor, Quality Management in Health Care, ASPEN
Associate Editor, New Medicine, Current Medicine Publishing.
Advisory Board, Quality Review Bulletin, JCAHO. (1991-1995)
Senior Fellow, Institute For Healthcare Improvement (1997- present)
Books and Book Chapters
- Quality Improvement Tools, (co-author with A. Onnias and
J. Early), Juran Institute Publication, 1989. A source book on the process
and data analysis tools commonly used in quality improvement efforts.
- "A Primer on Quality Improvement Tools," chapter in Curing
Health Care (by D. M. Berwick, A. B. Godfrey, and J. Roessner),
Jossey-Bass, 1990. Summaries the use of quality improvement tools by the
23 health care institutions that participated in the National Demonstration
Project on Quality Improvement in Health Care (NDP).
- Methods and Tools for Quality Improvement in Health Care,
National Demonstration Project, Boston, 1990. Notebook and reference for
a four-day advanced course for quality improvement leaders in health care.
Medical CME credits issued through the Harvard School of Public Health.
- "Techniques for the Management of Quality" and "Directed
Creativity and the Management of Quality in Healthcare," invited chapters
in Handbook for Managing for Quality in Healthcare. Chip Caldwell,
editor, in press. These two invited chapters cover both the basic tools
of quality management and the new tools of directed creativity.
- "Reengineering and TQM" and "Bringing Creativity to
Healthcare Reengineering Efforts," invited chapters to appear in Health
Care Reengineering Guidebook. Paul Lenz, MD, editor, in press. These
invited chapters describe the linkage between quality management, reengineering,
and creative thinking.
- Creativity, Innovation and Quality. 1997. Milwaukee, WI:
Quality Press. The first book to describe how the theory and methods of
directed creativity can be applied to the management of quality.
- Edgeware: A Sourcebook for Managers on the Implications of Complexity
Science, (co-authored with Brenda Zimmerman and Curt Lindberg), VHA
Press, 1998. An introduction to leadership in complex adaptive systems.
- "Innovation: Mining the Creative Spirit" invited chapters
in Managing Change in Healthcare: Innovative Solutions for People-Based
Organizations. M.K. Key, Ph.D., editor, McGraw-Hill, 1999. Tapping
creativity in times of organizational change.
Articles and Working Papers
- "Quality Tools: Meeting the Needs of Tomorrow's Industry,"
(with R. B. Ackerman and G. J. Surette), Quality Progress,
October 1986; reprinted in Trends in Total Quality Management,
published by IFS Publications, U.K., 1990. Describes how computer networking
technology can be used to integrate quality management into all business
- "Defining Quality At The Marketing/Development Interface,"
Quality Progress, June 1987. Explains the dimensions of quality
and describes how to use market research techniques in quality planning.
- "Quality Improvement Through Discovery Learning," Transactions
of the 1988 Annual Quality Congress, May 1988. Describes how to
use new techniques in instructional technology to teach quality concepts
and tools to managers who think they already know all they need to know.
- "FMEA For Process Quality Planning," Transactions of
the 1989 Annual Quality Congress, May 1989. Describes how to adapt
hardware reliability planning techniques to design quality into service
- "Preliminary Results from a Quality Improvement Demonstration
Program at the Brigham and Women's Hospital," (co-authored with Glenn
Laffel, M.D.), Proceedings of the IMPRO 89 Conference, November
1989. Status report on efforts to implement modern quality management techniques
at a large teaching hospital.
- "Improving the Quality of Ambulatory Health Care with Enhanced
Medical Information Systems: Using the Computer to Diagnose Faulty Clinical
Processes," (co-authored with N. J. Banks (principal author), R. H.
Palmer, D. M. Berwick), Journal of Medical Systems, December,
1990. Describes observations from a research study on the numerous ways
that common clinical processes can fail.
- "Tutorial: Control Charts," Quality Management in Health
Care, Fall 1992. Introduces health care quality improvement practitioners
to the basic statistical principles behind the classic Shewhart control
- "Quality Improvement Project Models," Quality Management
in Health Care, Winter 1993. Survey of the literature on models
and concepts for problem solving and quality improvement. Includes a review
of the similarities and differences among three quality improvement project
models in common use in healthcare organizations.
- "The Seven Management and Planning Tools," Quality
Management in Health Care, Spring, 1993. Describes seven tools that
are used to support planning for quality management in Japanese and some
progressive American organizations.
- "Strategic Quality Planning," Working Paper, co-authored
with Gayle Capozzalo. Describes work in progress to revise the strategic
planning process of the SSM Health Care System using concepts from quality
management such as hoshin planning.
- "Planning for Data Collection, Parts 1 and 2" Quality
Management in Health Care, Winter and Spring, 1994. Presents a systematic
process for designing and executing valid studies.
- "Directed Creativity," Quality Management in Health
Care, Spring, 1994. Survey of the literature on creative thinking.
Presents creative thinking as a basic cognitive process that anyone can
- "Techniques for the Management of Quality," Hospital
and Health Services Administration. Spring, 1995 40(1). Describes
the methods and tools commonly used to improve quality in health care organizations.
- "Sample Size," Quality Management in Health Care,
Fall, 1994. Describes statistical calculations for determining the appropriate
sample size in studies.
- "The P-D Crowbar," Quality Connection, Spring,
1994, vol. 3, no. 2. Provides practical advice for overcoming the problem
of inaction after planning.
- "Interpreting Quality Improvement Data With Time Series Analysis"
(co-authored with Roger Hand (principal author) and Harry Roberts). Quality
Management in Health Care, Spring, 1995. A case study of the use
of statistical time series analysis techniques applied to quality improvement
- "Variability in Clinical Systems: Applying Industrial Quality
Control to Health Systems" (co-authored with Naomi Banks (principal
author), Heather Palmer, and Donald Berwick). Joint Commission Journal
on Quality Improvement, August 1995. Describes a research project
that we conducted to quantify the amount of variability in the execution
of clinical processes in a large HMO.
- "Tapping Creativity in Healthcare Organizations," Quality
Letter for Healthcare Leaders-CQI Annual 1995. November 1995. Outlines
techniques for bringing creative thinking into strategic planning and process
- "Bringing Creativity to the Pursuit of Quality," Proceedings
of the American Society for Quality Control's 50th Annual Quality Congress.
May 1996. Outlines techniques for bringing directed creativity to the challenges
facing quality managers.
- "The Challenge of Reengineering in Healthcare" New Medicine,
January 1997. Describes barriers to reengineering that healthcare organizations
- "The Systematic Design of Health Care Processes," Quality
in Health Care: British Medical Journal. March 1997. Describes the
concepts and tools of process redesign, and its application in healthcare
- "La Creatividad en Busca de la Calidad" Qualitas Hodie
(Spain), April 1997. Spanish translation of "Bringing Creativity
to Quality" (see entry above).
- "Collaborating Across Organizational Boundaries for Improvement,"
American Journal of Infection Control. April, 1997. Describes
early efforts by various health care organizations to work together in
collaborative benchmarking efforts to improve the quality of health care.
- "Creativity in Process Redesign and Reengineering" Proceedings
of the American Society for Quality Control's 51st Annual Quality Congress.
May 1997. Application of directed creativity in process design.
- "Criatividade e inovacao em busca da qualidade" and "Um
exemplo do uso da criatividade dirigida" Empresas & Tendencias
(Brazil), Fourth Quarter, 1997. Portuguese translation of "Bringing
Creativity to the Pursuit of Quality" (see entry above).
- "Creativity and Quality at the Customer Interface" Proceedings
of the American Society for Quality's Customer-Supplier Division Conference.
November 1997. Application of directed creativity in customer needs
- "Incorporating the Tools of Creativity Into Quality Management"
Quality Progress. March 1998. The case for bringing methods of creativity
into the standard tool set of quality management.
- "A Whole Brain Breakfast" (with Robert Alan Black) Creativity
in Action, April, 1998. Reconciling the right-brain and left-brain
approach to creativity.
- "Quality Improvement in Clinical Medicine" Pediatrics,
101:1, January 1999. An overview of quality improvement methods in
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