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Lean Healthcare Strategy


Lean Healthcare Strategy - Apply lean thinking in medical institutions and realize lean strategy transformation in medical institutions


Lean Thinking has been practiced for decades in group companies such as Toyota and Danaher, and has achieved great success. Lean Thinking help them  become Top 500 Companies in the World. Professor James Womack of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in his book “Lean Thinking” published in 1996, pointed out that the common feature of these successful companies is that they have integrated Lean Thinking and Improvement Culture into every corner of the organizational operation system.


The pioneers represented by Mayo Clinic in the United States have practiced lean healthcare for decades. They have achived remarkable results in improving medical quality and patient service level. Domestic medical institutions represented by Guangdong Provincial Hospital of Chinese Medicine are also striving to implement the Lean Healthcare Strategy. They optimize the treatment process and improve the medcal quality. The satisfaction of patients and medical staff has increased sharply. Practicing Lean Healthcare Strategy in China is not only a medical institution management tool and method, but also a business thinking and concept, and also a set of management system.


Lean Healthcare Strategy ≠ Traditional Cost Reduction Strategy


Dr. Donald Berwick is the administrator of Harvard Medical School and the president of the American Institute of Medical Improvement. In his paper "Escape from the Fire: : Inspiration for the Future of the Medical Industry", he said that the medical industry needs to adopt a breakthrough thinking to resolve the crisis.


As a strategy, cost savings are limited because major cost savings have been implemented early, and further cost reductions have become more and more difficult. In addition, cost reductions often occur in value-added activities (people, equipment, beds, services, etc.), which can reduce service quality provided by medical institutions to patients. Lean Healthcare first focuses on how to eliminate the seven kinds of waste in medical treatment, rather than on the value-added part.


Lean Healthcare Strategy Improves Management Level of Medical Institutions


What can the medical industry learn from manufacturing?  In an article in the Wall Street Week, Dr. Berwick questioned the current situation of the medical industry and proposed to restructure medical business processes through lean approach that has evolved in the manufacturing for more than 50 years. Lean Healthcare improves the efficiency of hospital process and enables more patients to receive timely medical services. Therefore, medical institutions can make full use of existing assets, such as beds and other fixed costs, to get more profits.


Compared with the manufacturing and service industries, the management of the medical industry is quite backward.Although the scientific and technological level of the medical industry has greatly improved in the past 30 years, business management has been far behind. In other words, although doctors can cure and prevent many diseases and greatly reduce the pain of the patients, the cost, quality and delivery of health services have not improved significantly at all.


Lean Healthcare Strategy Optimizes the Overall Efficiency of Medical Organizations


Lean thinking treats the customer (patient) service process from a cross-functional perspective rather than from a single department. According to our experience in receiving medical services, patient satisfaction should be achieved through the overall continuous treatment activities. But now it is mostly replaced by a series of isolated and reluctantly connected departments


Today, medical business processes are not designed according to the value stream of medical services. By focusing on the overall efficiency of the medical system, the team identifies the appropriate measures to solve the problem, so that each department can better focus on the goal of improving patient satisfaction at a lower cost. As in traditional manufacturing, medical services are often in "batch and queue" mode. Patients spend most of their time waiting for the next process. The value-added process is not continuous. Even if the efficiency of a single process is very high, but patients feel that the overall process is slow and inefficient. Lean Healthcare Strategy improves overall efficiency in the following ways:


1. Identify the value of patients


2. Draw a value stream


3. Make the value stream flow quickly


4. Reduce waste steps to increase efficiency


Lean Healthcare Strategy Promotes Continuous Improvement of Hospital Management


One of the cornerstones of lean healthcare is the organization's ability to learn continuously. In fact, any lean system, such as medical, manufacturing, service, logistics and so on, is a continuous learning system for every employee in an organization. All employees should have a way of identifying value and waste, and use tools to define, measure, analyze, improve and control problem areas. Operation standards can be established, visualized, and continuously improved in accordance with PDCA.


Adjusting each employee's daily activities closely linked to high-level goals. Transformation and improvement will no longer be separated. They will become daily operations. Lean Healthcare integrates policies, processes, metrics and rewards and punishments to ensure that breakthrough improvements continue.


Dantotsu Lean Healthcare Strategy Consulting


Dantotsu Lean Strategy Consulting Team has successfully implemented lean thinking in various industries and organizations for many years. We do not have industry-specific expertise, which enables us to use lean thinking and Toyota Production System (TPS) wherever we go to meet the challenges of effectively applying lean tools and principles across industries. What we bring to each customer is honest, objective external perspective and years of experience in management consulting and promoting enterprise transformation.


Dantotsu's experience in lean healthcare counseling includes outpatient surgery department, administrative process in doctor's office, equipment management in outpatient department and lean training for leaders in large hospitals.


Consulting model of Dantotsu Lean Healthcare Strategy


Our preferred approach to lean education and implementation begins with leadership training to gain support and commitment. After getting commitment from the leadership, we begin to build lean knowledge in the organization and make the organization understand how to apply lean system tools in the medical field. We combine Practical operation with training so that every employee can review their work and get a new perspective according to lean principles.


We partner with our customers. They not only gain lean expertise through training, but aslo combine their knowledge with field implementation to achieve business results. We help organizations develop the ability to apply lean tools within internal organizations, develop independent education and implement lean organizational capabilities.


Consulting Methodology of Dantotsu Lean Healthcare Strategy

Lean Healthcare Process

Lean Operating Room

Lean Laboratory

Lean Hospital Logistics

Lean Healthcare Daily Kaizen

Lean Medical Foundation


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