5 Steps To a Lean Hospital

The main guiding principle to Lean Healthcare enabled through technology is to create the right value for our patients, colleagues, physicians and organization as a whole with minimum effort. Simply put,  work smarter, not harder and with a value driven sense of purpose. Everyone should be aware of how their part ties into the organization as a whole.

Below are the 5 steps in lean methodology which can be applied to many of your hospitals challenges:

Identify Value –  Take a hard look at your organization and assign priorities.  What do you value most? (Patient Safety and Quality should always top this list)  What departments, Supplies, Medical Devices or workflows have the largest impact on hospital costs, revenues, patient safety and quality.

Value Stream Mapping – The value stream map illustrates the process required to produce the service. Each process step should be categorized as either value-added, non-value-added but necessary, or non-value added waste.

Create Flow – The services offered should be designed to be robustly interwoven and handed off from one step to another.  The goal here is for process to be predictable and enabling; minimal waits and queuing; no rework.

Establish Pull –  Ideally supplies will only be reordered if current inventory is used (or lost due to waste), as opposed to a “push” strategy where orders are pushed out based on a time frame and volume  which has been projected (estimated).

Achieve Perfection – Perfection would be nice.  Realistically the goal is to be gathering enough data and have processes in place to achieve an atmosphere of continuous improvement