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Understand what Lean Healthcare methodology is and how it works

Understand what Lean Healthcare methodology is and how it works

The use of the Lean Healthcare methodology has been growing in health care. This technique is still unknown to most managers, but it explores strategies that are essential to reduce waste in operations and patient waiting time.

With that in mind and given the importance of this subject, we prepared an article with all the information about what this methodology is and what are the steps for its implementation. Keep reading and learn more!

What is the Lean Healthcare methodology?

Lean Healthcare had its beginning mirrored in Toyota’s production method, that is, in structured management techniques, waste reduction, inventory control and constant improvement in the quality of all processes. Several medical centers around the world have started to adopt these precepts, in adapted form, and to reform their health care systems.

By applying this methodology, it is possible to improve operations and create more value for the organization and patients. Health care is one of the fields that most requires careful monitoring, aiming at the quality of services. Spending time, energy and material only burdens the activity and reduces opportunities for institutions.

What are the main strategies of this method?

The Lean Healthcare technique has some strategies that are used to implement the method.  First, there is the 5S proposal, based on reducing resource waste in order to increase operational efficiency. Given the most diverse tools of a company’s daily life, it is necessary to optimize, eliminate or retain them.

There is also the High Value Stream Mapping (VSM). As the name suggests, these maps are designed to demonstrate the potential points for improvement. For example, a future state map can analyze the company’s current overview and reveal the next stage of evolution for the business to reach a higher growth level.

What are the steps to implement this methodology?

Identify opportunities

Opportunities are real triggers for internal changes in the organization’s management and strategy. However, it is necessary to describe and detail these points very well so that they can be modeled, and the company can make the best possible use of the opportunities.

Eliminate waste

Waste is synonymous with loss. Thus, nothing is more appropriate than eliminating all processes that involve waste. It is necessary to be aware of the fact that these losses are not limited only to materials, as it is also possible to lose time, labor and capital.

Track metrics

Having performance metrics is crucial for the project’s success. After all, they will reveal the real situation of the enterprise and which direction the hospital is taking with the changes implemented.

To evaluate the results of the Lean Healthcare methodology, it is necessary to add up the primary and secondary results. The former concerns the following factors:

  • result of improved health processes;
  • patient outcomes;
  • professional results.

The secondary results are related to the objectives of the 5S and VSM strategies, among others.

In this post, you learned a little more about Lean Healthcare and its relevance in management practices. This methodology can help hospitals and medical clinics reach ever higher levels of quality and growth. Do you want to expand your knowledge? Keep reading and check out our material on Lean Six Sigma!