Amazing Benefits of Lean Organization in HealthCare by Marie Miguel
In the 1940s, Toyota executives aimed to ameliorate their manufacturing processes, it led
them to come up with the famous Toyota Production System. Also known as “Lean organization” it was used by different manufacturing industries across the globe as a methodology to curb inefficiency and improve the quality of their products and services.
The goal of lean organization is deemed to be useful not only in different business industries, government offices and non-profit organizations but also in transforming healthcare. The management approach was adopted by many hospitals to render better mindset and care for patients.
4 Reasons why Lean organization principles is applicable in HealthCare
Ten years after the introduction of the lean approach in healthcare, it has drastically improved the delivery of care. Yet, many people still have a vague understanding of its principles and key goals. How does it work? Is it really effective?
Here is a list of ways to improve hospital efficiency using lean production.
Eliminate Unnecessary Activities
One of the key goals of Lean production is to eliminate waste or any activity that has no value or relevance in improving the quality of patient care. For example, waiting takes a big chunk off of a patient’s time when visiting the hospital. Waiting, is a non-value added activity in lean production and has to be addressed. One way to reduce the waiting time is making sure that everything a nurse or doctor needs for the care of a patient is within reach in every treatment room. Another is for the nurse to complete the history of the patient and then the doctor will make a diagnosis. In the past, a patient’s waiting time was very long because the interviews used to be done by the doctors themselves, so the patient had to wait until the doctor became available. The time spent by the doctor interviewing the patient also adds to the length of time spent by those who are next in line. When lean thinking is implemented, early assessment is carried out to provide faster intervention and shorten the waiting period. The Lean approach not only promotes quick response, it urges people involved in the patient care to participate and work harder to find ways to improve the patient experience.
Allow Innovation to Take Place
New technology that helps keep inventory low, reduce hospitalization cost and manual labor is embraced in hospitals that operate with a lean mindset. The use of Electronic Health RecordElectronic or EHRs for example helps prevent repeated examinations and improve communication for better collaboration among health practitioners.
Aside from EHRs, there are other modern equipment that helps keep track of inventory such as the digital tracking system that makes the time consuming manual inventory a thing of the past. These are just few of the high tech inventions that lower hospital expenses and increase patient satisfaction. There will be more improvement in healthcare, if lean principles are observed.
Promote Personal Development
Lean organization is different from traditional organization. It puts greater value to employees and encourages self-growth. The organization focuses on the process of providing high quality patient care not by hiring more people to get the job done but by developing the skills of their employees.
The goal of Lean production is to put an end to the command and control setting in the hospital. Training is provided to give employees ample opportunity to enhance their skills and expand their knowledge. Through the Lean approach, employees not only take orders from their bosses, they are encouraged to contribute and participate in improving the healthcare process.
Determine the Root Cause of the Problem
When a problem is left unsolved, it simply festers and may even become a bigger problem. The Lean approach identifies and addresses the problem, so that it will no longer remain as a factor in the process and will not affect future outcomes.
Author: Marie Miguel
Marie is an avid internet researcher and likes to write about a lot of topics namely, social media marketing, healthcare and business. She has a college degree in Communication with Specialization in Integrated Marketing Communication.
She has more than 10 years work experience in various fields namely, social media marketing, as well as, research for fast-moving consumer goods. Currently, she is working as a Marketing Associate in the fast growing industry of solar energy.
In her free time, she writes content for different websites and blogs, so that she can share her knowledge of her field and of other topics that she is interested in. Marie also likes to travel and her adventures allow her to have a broader world view. Finally, she has four kids, who inspire her with her work and her writing.