13 Lean Healthcare Terms You Need to Know

Lean management strategies have been around for a long time, for over 100 years facilities have used these concepts to optimize their workflow and budget. When you take these strategies and apply them to healthcare; the results can be astonishing. A lean implementation program in a North Carolina hospital resulted in savings of $2.62 million dollars and in just a 5 – month time span! Would you like to see similar results? To get you started here are the basic terms you need to begin building your Lean Management Strategy.

  1. 7S- The Foundation of Lean (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardization, Sustain, Safety, and Security)
  2. Poka- Yoke – Error proofing that completely eliminates the potential for error.
  3. Value- Essential elements of work that are fulfilling the needs of the costumer ( i.e. Patient Care)
  4. Non Value Add – Elements of work that are required but not essential to fulfilling the ultimate needs of the customer
  5. WasteDOWNTIME ( Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Not Utilizing Human or Computer Potential, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, Excess Processing)
  6. Value Stream Map – A visual representation of the physical information flows in a process
  7. Pull- Doing work or providing material based on customer needs rather than a plan.
  8. Kanban- A visual indicator to do work or provide material ( literally translates to “ billboard, sign”)
  9. Two Bin – The most simple inventory replenishment system ( empty bin = fill bin) reliant on First in – First out ( FIFO- use the oldest product first )
  10. Kaizen – “Change for the Better” or continuous improvement often done in a team even conducted in a short period of time.
  11. Quick Change Over (QCO) – Eliminating waste and reducing internal set up time to turn over resources (ex. OR Suite) faster to increase flow or reduce batch size.
  12. Standard Work – An agreed upon set of work procedures that effectively combines people , materials, and equipment to maintain quality , efficiency, safety, and predictability; establishes a routine for repetitive tasks, provides a basis for improvement by defining the normal and highlighting the abnormal, and prohibits backsliding.
  13. Fishbone- A simple visual way to group causes that result in an effect ( i.e. Cause and effect diagram)

Lean Management can help to optimize your budget and your everyday workflow in a way that doesn't frustrate your staff but actually empowers them.Lean management is the perfect system to meet your budget expectations and save large sums of cash, supply management is the 2nd largest cost in hospitals but a lot of that money is wasted when things are put in the wrong spot or products expire. Lean Management is the perfect solution to tackle this and all of your efficiency challenges.

Sources :https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283992333_A_STRUCTURED_REVIEW_OF_LEAN_SUPPLY_CHAIN_MANAGEMENT_IN_HEALTH_CARE

https://revcycleintelligence.com/news/how-a-small-hospital-developed-lean-supply-chain-management