In today’s challenging healthcare environment, improving quality and efficiency, while controlling costs are more important than ever to the success of the industry. Government regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and rising costs of services are significantly stretching healthcare organizations. With the increasing administrative burdens, healthcare organizations look immediately to cutting costs across the board. Staffing is a major expense and typically is the first focus for change.
Lean Healthcare Drives Efficiencies
Over the past ten years, healthcare cases reveal that Lean Healthcare practices are as applicable in complex healthcare environments as Lean practices are in assembly-line manufacturing. When well executed, Lean Healthcare practices transforms how an organization thinks and works, creating an insatiable quest for improvement.
Lean Healthcare practices are a cultural shift that changes how a healthcare organization thinks and works; no one stays on the sidelines in the quest to discover how to improve the daily work. It demands new habits, new skills and often a new attitude throughout the organization from senior management to frontline service providers. Creating a culture of Lean in healthcare is to create an insatiable appetite for improvement.
To maximize value and eliminate waste, healthcare organizations, as in other organizations, must evaluate processes by accurately specifying the value desired by the user; identifying every step in the process and eliminating non-value added steps and making value flow from beginning to end based on the expressed needs of the patient.
A major principle in the application of Lean Healthcare practices is to eliminate the amount of time currently spent on non-value added activities in the delivery of the highest quality of patient care. In other words, by identifying the essential elements of healthcare and eliminating the wasteful activities, you will increase the productivity of your workforce and reduce costs.
A Study of Lean Healthcare Effectiveness
Follow this link for a study titled Lean Thinking In Healthcare: Review of Implementation Results.
If you’d like to read more, check out these Lean and Healthcare posts >>>
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