Implementing Lean to Revolutionize Healthcare

Lean Healthcare1

Currently many healthcare organizations spend months (sometimes years) and hundreds of thousands of dollars on assessments and analyses by large, over-budget consulting firms.  Many consulting firms, however, have a deathly fear of implementing any of the recommendations made within their assessments and analyses.  They fear the creation of liability issues during implementation, and implementation is not as lucrative as performing assessments and analyses.  The healthcare organization then fails to implement any real improvement measures because it lacks the expertise from within to facilitate the implementation activities. Not to mention adequate resources and time are not allocated to the improvement effort.

Additionally, the approach to improving a given process often focuses on improving the value-added elements of the patient treatment processes; without any focus given to the non-value-added elements.  These non-value-added elements prolong patient lengths-of-stay, maintain high healthcare facility operating costs, restrict bed availability, and sometimes negatively impact clinical outcomes.  Focusing on the value-added elements results in minimal profitability gains being realized, while patient satisfaction continues to be severely impacted.

So what differentiates us at GDC Total Business Solutions LLC from the large consulting firms?  Similar to the process improvement methodologies we use within the manufacturing sector, we form Kaizen (improvement) teams out of those involved in the organization’s patient treatment processes.  We start with providing training, we then coach and facilitate the teams in their assessment, analysis, and implementation activities to bring about significant improvement.  Our focus is on reducing the non-value-added activities that hinder patient throughput, impact clinical outcomes and create patient dissatisfaction

Process improvement is implemented within the patient treatment value stream through our facilitation of a series of Kaizen events.  These events typically last from one to three weeks in duration.  The results are significant, sustainable gains in treatment throughput, patient lengths-of-stay, clinical outcomes and operating costs within a very short time.

Being that significant improvement is accomplished through a team approach with those involved in the treatment processes, a buy-in of the new processes by the healthcare facility staff is achieved, adding to the sustainability of the process improvements.  Sustainability is further ensured through the development and implementation of a sound performance measurement system.  This measurement system drives the staff’s behavior that produces the desired outcomes in keeping with the organization’s vision, mission, goals and objectives.

Lean Healthcare

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