KAIZEN™ and Lean in Healthcare
Hospitals, like any other organisation, need to be efficient. In fact, they need to deliver a top-notch experience every single time in order to gain and retain the trust of both, patients as well as staff. The Lean principles of KAIZEN™ can help medical institutions achieve and maintain efficiency.
KAIZEN™, as a philosophy, relies on continuous improvement. Instead of making big, sweeping changes across an organisation, each process is carefully analysed and improved.
Why are KAIZEN™ & Lean is needed in Healthcare?
Healthcare costs have risen exponentially in recent years. At the same time, the burgeoning population has put existing infrastructure under a lot of stress. Hospitals also must deal with pressure from insurance companies and government agencies, not to mention intense media scrutiny. The attrition rate of junior doctors in India is expected to rise too, which will put the healthcare industry under even more stress.
The rising cost of materials, increased demand, and gruelling work-schedules are just some of the many problems plaguing the modern healthcare industry. The Lean principles of KAIZEN™ can come to the rescue. For example, reducing waste is one of the foremost goals of KAIZEN™ & Lean implementation. Waste is described as anything that does not add value to the organisation or to the patient. By reducing waste, KAIZEN™ can help hospitals become Lean and deliver high-quality care at relatively lower costs, despite the spiralling costs of raw material.
How can It Help Healthcare?
KAIZEN™ is a culture, a management system, and a philosophy that can change the way hospitals are organized & managed. Apart from relying on continuous improvement, KAIZEN™ also relies on teamwork. Every employee should be a part of KAIZEN™ for it to deliver benefits. Thus, every stakeholder has a say in how things should be run in an organisation.
Lean is a methodology that allows hospitals to improve the quality of care for patients by reducing errors & waiting times. KAIZEN™ is an approach that can support employees & physicians in eliminating roadblocks & allowing them to focus on providing care.
KAIZEN™ also relies on standardisation of processes, which means there are protocols in place for every kind of situation. These protocols can help to deliver better patient care and reduce errors.
Benefits of KAIZEN™ & Lean in Healthcare
Relying on the principles of continuous improvement, standardisation of processes, minimisation of waste, and collective effort, KAIZEN™ & Lean can deliver tangible results across processes in healthcare. Here are a few examples.
1. More Efficient Pharmacies
With the help of KAIZEN™ & Lean, optimum stock of medication can be maintained such that there is no wastage due to the expiry of drugs. At the same time, they never run out of crucial medications. This can also help pharmacies reduce wait-times and handle more patients in a day.
2. More Satisfied Employees
Doctors and nursing staff, often, must deal with gruelling work schedules, which can lead to stress. Stressed employees are more prone to errors at work. With KAIZEN™, work-shifts can be scheduled in a manner that allows healthcare staff to get appropriate rest. It can also help remove blockages for them, in both, administrative and workflow terms, thus leading to better job satisfaction.
3. Better Patient Care
At the heart of the Lean Methodology is the practice of reducing waste. Long wait-times for check-in and check-out are a waste since they do not add any value to the hospital, or to the patient. By fine-tuning processes and ensuring a smooth flow between departments, wait-times are reduced, thus improving the overall patient experience.
More importantly, by standardising processes, KAIZEN™ helps reduce critical human errors, thus enabling better patient care.
If you are currently looking to learn more about the KAIZEN™ and Lean Practises in Healthcare, join the First Ever KAIZEN™ and Lean in Healthcare Training program organised by Kaizen Institute in Association with AHPI (Association of Healthcare Providers India). Click here to more
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