Addressing healthcare's most critical needs.

An urgent need in today's healthcare industry is improving quality and efficiency while controlling costs. One promising process improvement approach implemented by leading healthcare institutions is Lean, a quality improvement methodology and set of principles originated by the Toyota Motor Company. The last decade of Healthcare cases reveal that Lean is as applicable in complex knowledge work as it is in assembly-line manufacturing. When well executed, Lean transforms how an organization thinks and works; creating an insatiable quest for improvement.

Lean is a cultural transformation that changes how an organization thinks and works; no one stays on the sidelines in the quest to discover how to improve the daily work. It requires new habits, new skills and often a new attitude throughout the organization from senior management to front-line service providers. Creating a culture of Lean is to create an insatiable appetite for improvement.

A set of common core principles.

Today, the concept of Lean applies to businesses and organizations across all industries, from manufacturing to healthcare. Lean methodology is governed by a strong set common core principles. They are as follows:

  • Specifying what creates value from the customer's perspective.
  • Identifying all the steps across the entire value stream.
  • Making those actions which create value flow seamlessly and predictably.
  • Only making or delivering what is required by the customer when it is required.
  • Striving for perfection by continually removing successive successive layers of waste.

To maximize value and eliminate waste, leaders in healthcare, 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.

Using less to do much more.

Lean thinking is not typically associated with healthcare, where waste... of time, money, supplies and good will... is a common problem. But the principles of Lean can, in fact, work in healthcare in much the same way they do in other industries.

Deploying Lean in healthcare allows your organization to strive to become a high reliability organization, one that aims for (and successfully reaches) the following:

  • The highest quality of patient care
  • The delivery of reliable care
  • The lowest cost of healthcare
  • Uncompromising levels of patient safety
  • High morale for both employees and patients

Safer Healthcare's Lean Leadership in Healthcare Workbook contains a powerful and comprehensive set of resources, including templates, guides and checklists for planning, executing and sustaining improvement and organizational change activities to deliver high reliability. Each tool is specifically designed to help healthcare administrators, managers and frontline staff successfully manage process improvement projects for success. 

Eliminate non-value added work.

One of the overarching goals of Lean principles in healthcare is to eliminate the amount of time currently spent on non-value added activities in the delivery of Perfect 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.

On average, Lean healthcare training programs and the incorporation of Lean in healthcare double productivity and reduce costs by 20 percent. Other benefits of implementing Lean principles in healthcare include realizing dramatic reductions in hospital administrative costs, better patient flow paths, increased participation by the workforce in process improvement activities and high employee retention rates. The benefits that can be achieved in healthcare through Lean transformation include:

  • Reduced wait times and length of hospital stay
  • Improved patient safety and reduced mortality rates
  • Improved quality of healthcare and efficiency
  • Elimination of medical errors and adverse events
  • Improved hospital and healthcare staff morale
  • Efficiency and cost gains from reduced waste

Safer Healthcare provides Lean principles in healthcare training workshops and consultative services to hospitals and healthcare systems to optimize processes, patient pathways and productivity.

Culture change and continuous improvement.

Hospitals are increasingly turning to Lean principles in healthcare to help get more out of the same resources, to help improve the quality of patient care and safety, eliminate medical errors, cut delays and reduce the length of patient stays in hospital.

Today's economic challenges facing providers makes the quest for healthcare quality an absolute necessity. High quality patient safety is no longer a goal, it must be an everyday practice. Safer Healthcare’s team of Lean experts are leaders in the implementation of sustainable operational improvements based on Lean principles in healthcare in the pursuit of the Perfect Patient Care™ model.

Learn more about Lean leadership in healthcare.

Contact our team of Lean process improvement experts to learn how we can help your organization increase patient safety and improve the quality of care while maximizing profitability. Reach out to one of our customer service representatives today.