Lean Healthcare or Incompetency?
Recently the mother of a friend was hospitalized after she had a stroke. She spent three days in the emergency room before being moved to a regular hospital room. By day three, she regained consciousness but no tests were run and no foods allowed, not even liquids.
Later the staff gave her scans and other tests designed to determine what was going on in her brain. When questioned by a family member concerned about the delayed tests, a healthcare worker explained those tests are great! they can tell what was happening as far back as 48 hours! By this time, it had been well over 72 hours since she was admitted. Luckily, my friend was able to get his mother discharged and she is doing better.
Is the flagrant reduction in patient services in this example due to lean healthcare or a shortage of healthcare workers? Let’s start with examining the difference between lean healthcare and failure to meet healthcare standards.
A Lean healthcare system reorganizes processes to minimize waste for a better patient experience. The Improvements are ongoing. Staff members constantly work to identify waste and streamline areas of patient care to improve them. If it doesn’t add value for patients, it’s gone. By this definition my friend’s mother was not experiencing Lean Healthcare, just poor healthcare.
Running Leaner Facilities
More and more hospitals are implementing lean initiatives to streamline processes in their healthcare facilities. Running a Lean healthcare facility makes skilled, trained professional healthcare staff critical at every level. Underutilizing fully trained physicians and healthcare workers risks serious deterioration of patient care. The core of lean healthcare is patient care. Losing patient focus is detrimental to running a leaner facility. Everything is about value to the patient.
Lean Healthcare Starts in HR
To keep the patient value focus, lean healthcare organizational changes must start in the recruitment, hiring and training practices. Employee development is not about carving out overages in your workforce, it is about re-purposing it.
Standardizing Work With the Right Team
Lean is great, but how can you standardize healthcare work and still keep it personal? This is where recruitment teams like PX3 Medical Staffing step in. Our recruitment techniques dive deep into your needs and culture. We are driven to find the right match for your organization, someone receptive to your concepts and training plan.
We give Candidates multiple in-depth questions before you spend your time interviewing them. You get a candidate who understands your brand and wants to train to be a valuable part of it. The candidate gets an opportunity to work with an organization that matches their skillset and ideals. When we correctly make this match, turnover rates drop, and morale goes up. Ask us about how we work.
Underutilizing the time and talent of your people, as when patients or employees have to stand by, is incredibly wasteful. Prolonged time in a waiting room, stalled meetings, waiting lists and idle equipment all squander time. Unfortunately, unused human potential is the biggest waste in healthcare. Employees want to be efficient and effective. Reducing waste can be a bigger boost to your brand than you realized.
Other Ways Healthcare is Going Lean
Whittle Out Waste –
Waste is all unnecessary work like superfluous tests, multiple form completion with the same information and data entry in multiple systems. Eliminating redundant and unnecessary jobs can make a healthcare facility run smoother, on less money.
Reduce Inventory –
When Inventory is locally sourced, on-hand quantities can be reduced, releasing capital and storage availability. Inventory stockpiles are prone to obsolescence or theft. Part of employee training must be to recognize excessive inventory and find new ways to reduce it.
Decrease Defects –
By reducing medical mistakes, you can improve patient care. You can reduce healthcare induced conditions like blood clots, infections, and allergic reactions that cause avoidable readmissions and other costs.
Trim Transportations –
Decrease patient transportation and decrease the time and expense to move the supplies and equipment the patient requires. It can also improve patient flow if done correctly.
Minimize Movement –
Minimize excessive movements to save time and reduce the opportunity for injury. Organize streamlined patient care to reduce the need for extra movement and you will reduce lost time.