Quality, efficiency, and safety determine the success of a business in any domain. The healthcare industry is not an exception. Rather, providers need to go the extra mile with these parameters because patients’ lives are at stake. However, quality problems and safety incidents are common within healthcare organizations despite the best measures in place. Leaders in the industry constantly look for better ways to redesign healthcare delivery.
The industry has multiple processes and avoidable waste, making it a good candidate for the implementation of lean methodology. The approach can go a long way in enhancing the quality of patient care, saving resources and time, and decreasing the length of hospital admissions. Let us explain the reasons why every healthcare organization should embrace a lean approach.
Better delivery and throughput
A lean workflow enables the hospital staff to deliver patient care seamlessly, one step to the next, without delays and bottlenecks. They can identify and remove the blockages, making it possible to cover more patients in a given time frame. Additionally, they can deliver quality care with the same number of caregivers and equipment within the facility. Everything boils down to process improvement as work becomes faster and smoother with it. Streamlined flow translates into better delivery and throughput, where more patients are treated in time and without errors. Hospitals also get the benefits of improved hygiene and housekeeping as workflows get streamlined.
Enhanced work environment
Going lean enables healthcare organizations to create a stable work environment with a clear vision and standardized processes. The environment builds the foundation for continuous improvement that takes the organization a step closer to world-class performance. Empowering the workforce with lean six sigma belts drives motivation, while they also offer skills that help with standardizing processes. Employees focus on delivering value for their patients and reducing waste. With the right protocols, hospitals can treat emergency patients without major delays and save lives. Conversely, less serious ones do not have to struggle with long waiting times, and the admin staff faces less pressure.
Improved workflow in store, pharmacy, and diagnostics
The benefits of lean extend beyond patient care and management of healthcare systems. Organizations that move to this methodology also witness improved workflows in their store, pharmacy, and diagnostic departments. They can ensure that the store and pharmacy have an optimal level of stocks at all times. Medications and supplies never fall short, reducing the risk of impact on patient care. At the same time, they are not overstocked, and they can avoid losses due to expiry of medications. Further, the pharmacy staff can implement an error-proofing process to eliminate medication errors. Better processes in labs and diagnostics can speed up test results to enable timely diagnosis and treatment.
The benefits of going lean are immense for hospitals, clinics, and all other kinds of healthcare providers. It can streamline internal processes, motivate employees, and ensure a better quality of care to the patients. In the long run, the approach can help build the reputation of the organization and make it successful.