Healthcare, as any other operation, whether manufacturing or service, requires to remain fit & improve all the time, but the question is, is this happening? Incidents and quality problems are a prime cause why health care leaders are calling to redesign health care delivery
There are so many processes and so much of avoidable waste and therefore the healthcare system can definitely benefit out of application of Lean concept . It can improve quality of patient care whilst saving time and resources, reducing length of stay and freeing hospital beds.
Few more benefits of Lean healthcare are listed below:
Improved quality of healthcare delivery and safety
• Improved housekeeping / hygiene
• Fewer mistakes, accidents and errors resulting in better patient care.
Improved delivery and/or throughput
• Due to Lean employees flow or pull system of information and materials, each patient is worked with, one unit at a time and passed on for the next step of the process without any delay. All blockages and obstacles to flow are identified and removed in lean, hence, the number of patients attended to will increase while working with same equipment in the same facilities by just working on the processes. Work will be done faster.
• Improved FLOW of treatment to patients – in time, in full, error free!
• Creating a stable working environment with a clear vision, standardized procedures that create the foundation for continuous improvement to attain world class performance.
• Standardizing processes and improving flow to make sure emergency patients are treated with the right protocols without major delays.
• The entire healthcare workforce becomes motivated and understands that, when they are at work, they are actually identifying, creating and delivering value for their patients and nothing else and feels to be part of the success.
• Reducing waiting time for patients; patient check in & check out time & admin efforts to do so.
Improvements in store/ pharmacy
• Ensuring pharmacies have optimum level of stocks that medications are never stocked out at the point of use & to avoid losses due to expiry of drugs etc
• Error proofing processes to help prevent medication errors
• Better laboratories layout and processes to give test results to physicians and patients in dramatically faster times -- measured in minutes instead of hours.
So the only question remaining is: Are you or the healthcare system ready to embrace lean?