The Affordable Care Act has created angst among health care workers and administrators, not because big changes are coming, but because the impacts of those changes and their accompanying rules are not yet clear. For administrators, this level of uncertainty makes planning seem nearly impossible. Yet, healthcare organizations such as Mayo Clinic and Thedacare are currently developing robust plans for tomorrow, streamlining existing workflows, and delivering better outcomes in care—all while cutting costs, increasing cash flow, and growing the bottom line. How? Lean Six Sigma.
A Transformational Approach
Lean Six Sigma improves hospital operations with data-supported decision making. The goal is to drive continuous improvement throughout the organization, and in a way that aligns with the hospital’s strategic plan.
In health care, Lean Six Sigma focuses on both the process (workflow) and the service itself. When implemented properly, these practices train health care teams to react and adjust to changes efficiently, and even proactively create solutions to future problems. Typically, Lean Six Sigma projects yield between three and ten times the health care provider’s investment, as well as a 50% improvement in quality of care.
Financial Gains from Lean Six Sigma Result from:
n Eliminating rework, materials, and inventory
n Avoiding or reworking problematic processes
n Enhancing productivity and patient care quality
n Improving patient flow and cash flow
Lean Six Sigma methodologies make delivering and planning for high-quality care possible, even in the face of great change. Further, these practices prepare hospitals and staff for the coming changes while incorporating existing requirements from Medicare/Medicaid, ACO, avoidable adverse events, and much more.
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