Do you want to hear about a real implementation of Lean Healthcare?
We are proud to publish an interview we did at David Turello Lean Project Manager of on Italian Hospital (Presidio Ospedaliero “Sant Antonio” di San Daniele del Friuli).
What is Lean Healthcare?
Then, should be clear that the Lean Healthcare is the application of the Lean Principles to the world of Healthcare.
For example, we found for you a video where the 8 wastes are explained with a particular focus on the world of Healthcare.
See it now, worth seeing.
When do you get in touch with the Lean Healthcare Principles?
Around 2 years ago, during a Lean Healthcare conference I heard a contribution of an engineer that stimulated my curiosity.
Then, I decided to go into details by Lean Healthcare Articles and Books, and after 1 year I organized my first Lean Healthcare Training in my hospital.
We started the Value Stream Mapping of the patient at the First Aid and then we moved to the surgery and so on.
How can lean benefit healthcare if born in the automotive?
My personal opinion is that the Lean Methodology could be born in healthcare and then moved to automotive.
Basically, the Lean Principles and the Lean Tools are so universal that could be used in any industry.
In particular, everything we do is based on a process, and the only difference between Lean Production and Lean Service is that during a Lean Service the user is immediately involved.
In other words, if the customer is directly and immediately involved the use of the Lean Thinking in the process, that lead to a Lean Process, should be a must.
What is the level of lean training for healthcare executives?
If I look at the Italian Healthcare, the Lean Healthcare Implementation is made in single hospitals or limited areas.
However, my opinion is that there is a need to spread the Lean Principles especially at the executive level and to anyone that is called to take decisions.
For example, one of the solution often on the table is to apply standard costs to save money.
Theoretically, this approach should lead to savings but because is focused only on one part of the process and not the entire “value stream” it is proven not to give significant benefits or savings.
Here our staff found a video with a real example of what Mr. Turello said.
The roadmap to lean healthcare success in your reality?
I will tell you the real case of the path of the patients one month before surgery.
Firstly, we started mapping the 3 existing paths (Surgical, orthopedic and gynecological) and we measured the lead time. The as-is situation was a Lead Time from 4 to 8 hours.
Then, we focused on the MUDA and root-cause of the wastes.
Based on this we built a road-map with owners and timeline to reach the to-be status with a new process.
Here the results:
BEFORE = Lead Time 4-8 Hours
AFTER = Lead Time 2 Hours and 30 minutes
The difficulties in leading a healthcare lean transformation.
The 2 major difficulties I have ever had were:
- To have the commitment from the management that is not directly involved in the daily activities. Who can see the real lean implementation can better understand the benefits of the Lean Thinking.
- It is not hard to say what to do. It is hard to teach what do not do!
Both difficulties can be explained by the fact that embrace a Lean Transformation means –> Change!
Everybody like to stay in the comfort zone, and the highest is the level in the organization the hardest is to change.
Who are the customers in the Lean Healthcare?
Our customer is the patient and we have to create value to him.
We do not locate the patient at the center of our Value Stream Map but aside.
Firstly, we look at the processes, and if we improve processes, we improve the patient’s experience.
Mainly we want to create a “Lean Process” but the methodology to do that is not so widespread.
Then, we go with the operators in every single phase of the process and analyze every single activity.
The operators know which are the phase that has value to the patient and by Lean Tools, we can remove the wastes.
For the operators, this is a chance to improve their daily activities, and they were waiting only the opportunity to suggest it.
If the organization is rigid and hierarchical, this process is not possible at all.
Lean Healthcare Books and websites
Personally, I read:
- Making Hospital work
- Lean Healthcare
- Perfecting patient journeys
- On the mend
- A3 problem solving for healthcare
On the other hand, there are many books on Lean Manufacturing that are the milestones and worth to read to understand the big picture:
- Lean Thinking
- Gemba Walk
- Learning to see
Lean Healthcare is the application of the Lean Thinking in the world of Hospitals, Clinics etc.
Because the customer is directly involved in the process should be more and more implemented.
Firstly, you have to read books and get in touch with experts, but I learned a lot by going at the Gemba and passing hours in mapping, measuring time and projecting with operators.
Thanks to David Turello for his interview and now I really would like you to comment below!