The next level of Lean process for healthcare

Most hospitals have begun the Lean process improvement stage to eliminate waste, reduce travel distances, and minimize inventory, with varying levels of success. Here are three keys to creating a prosperous Lean program.

October 14, 2013 |
GS&P Dialogue

As an industry, the American healthcare system falls into three groups: those that embraced Lean principles early and persevered, those that tried and failed and quit, and those that are just waking up (better late than never). 

While the ACA and other reform measures are shifting incentives and establishing penalties in the marketplace, too many major healthcare organizations are taking the easy way out and laying off hundreds if not thousands of associates. While some layoffs may be necessary, there are still opportunities for new business models and deeper internal Lean efforts for providers to thrive once again.

Recognizing this, most hospitals have begun the Lean process improvement stage to eliminate waste, reduce travel distances and minimize inventory, with varying levels of success. A few have begun Lean Six Sigma, fine-tuning standard deviation measurements to the nth decimal point. However, decimal points will only get you so far; process improvement begins and ends with the people. Significant improvement is dependent on successful communication, widespread engagement and serious commitment, on every level, starting with the administrative suite. These are the things that make LEAN not just a buzzword, but an answer to healthcare woes.

Fine-grain process mapping

Lean process mapping begins with a large brush and broad strokes framing the continuum of care. However, the real art of improvement lies in uncovering the detail of each patient interaction and choreographing an optimal customer experience. 

Staying with the artistic analogy, a Lean effort begins with a Contemporary canvas but quickly moves to the Impressionistic period, with a fine-grain focus on each small dot comprising the whole. The current process should be dissected in sequential, layered process meetings beginning with front-line staff and working through clinical staff, nurses, and providers. It is tempting to dive right into optimization, but these meetings should focus on current processes. Only by thoroughly understanding the current system, with all of its barriers, bottlenecks, and missed communications, can you truly begin to optimize it.

Read the full post on GS&P Dialogue blog

 

 


About the author: Marc Sauvé is a Senior Healthcare Strategist at Gresham, Smith and Partners. He specializes in providing growth and development strategies to healthcare providers. An industry authority on future demand, Marc's book, This is Not a Drill, aims to educate all users of the healthcare industry regarding current and future trends.  He has delivered his presentation, "The Future of Healthcare in America," to audiences around the country. More posts bv Sauvé.

GS&P Dialogue | GS&P Dialogue
Gresham, Smith and Partners

Gresham, Smith and Partners' blog, Dialogue, is about starting discussions. We want to get people thinking about issues and trends that are impacting the design services industry and the market sectors GS&P architects, engineers, interior designers, planners, consultants and environmental scientists serve. Great ideas are typically enhanced through conversation and often stifled by singular views and opinion. We hope you'll join in this conversation and help us to create a meaningful Dialogue. Visit http://dialogue.greshamsmith.com.

Related Blogs

University of Florida Health Jacksonville. Images courtesy GS&P.

May 10, 2016 | Sustainable Design and Construction | GS&P DialogueCorie Baker, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC

GS&P's Corie Baker shows how to design and orient a building to efficiently collect or dissipate solar...

How retailers can create spaces to appeal to Millennial shoppers

The GS&P-designed 5th + Broadway mixed-use development provides provides pedestrian and mass-transit access as well as a variety of retail, dining, entertainment options on ground level. Images courtesy GS&P.

April 27, 2016 | Retail Centers | GS&P DialogueBrandon Bell

Today's college students have a bit more spending power than past generations. In the third part of the The...

Can "active" building designs make people healthier?

The staircase at the GS&P-designed Methodist Olive Branch Hospital helps promote an active lifestyle. Renderings courtesy GS&P

March 07, 2016 | Healthcare Facilities | GS&P DialogueTerrance Perdue, Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C

The new high-performance Kaiser Permanente facility in Anne Arundel County, Md., uses the built environment...

Images courtesy GS&P Dialogue

December 21, 2015 | Urban Planning | GS&P DialogueJessica K. Lucyshyn, PE

How does success in managing density begin? By being design friendly to everyone, writes Jessica K. Lucyshy...

Good design can combat open-office issues

Photo: GS&P-designed Jackson Development Zone in East Lansing, Michigan, courtesy GS&P

August 19, 2015 | Office Building Design | GS&P DialogueJack E. Weber

Three tricks to maintain privacy and worker production in a cube-less world, according to GS&P's Jack E...

San Antonios lively Riverwalk exemplifies the benefits of urban living: inviting sidewalks with plenty of retail, restaurants and attractions in walking distance. Photo credit: GS&P

January 07, 2015 | Smart and Resilient Cities | GS&P Dialogue

If an urban building isn’t grounded in the local region’s character, it will end up feeling generic and out...

December 28, 2014 | GS&P Dialogue

These days, BIM is par for the course across most facets of design. But a lot of the conversation surroundi...

The GS&P-designed workplace project, \"The Zone,\" created a space for Jackson National Life Insurance Company that supports mobility and collaboration. Photo courtesy GS&P.

October 22, 2014 | GS&P Dialogue

The importance of mobility, flexibility, and sustainability in the world of corporate design are already we...

October 03, 2014 | GS&P Dialogue
In their quest for total wellness, women today are more savvy healthcare consumers than ever before. They...

Photo: GS&P

September 12, 2014 | GS&P Dialogue

In spite of the trend away from multi-car residences, not much has changed with regard to parking spot allo...

Add new comment

Your Information
Your Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.
Overlay Init