Lean processes help to promote practices that improve supply management and patient care over time. Taking time to pinpoint the waste in an environment is one of the most critical steps in the lean process. Knowing what wastes are holding back your healthcare facility from working at maximum capacity can help pinpoint where changes are needed.
Here are 5 types of waste in healthcare that lean processes decrease or eliminate:
This form of waste takes place when you produce more than what is needed right now by the customer. Examples of this waste in a hospital are:
You see this form of waste when the patient or another type of value (instrument set) is moved without adding value. Examples of this form of waste are:
This form of waste refers to staff members moving without adding value. This becomes evident in the amount of walking staff members do during their day, looking or “hunting” for something. Why is it that clinicians are not provided the tools and supplies they need to take care of patients? Some examples of motion waste are:
This idle time is created when supplies, information, people, and equipment are not ready. If you find yourself waiting on any kind of resource, you need to start asking why and be prepared to act once you get the answer. Just one rule: blaming somebody else is not allowed. Here are some practical examples you can verify for yourself:
This is the waste of overdoing. It is so easy to believe you are doing the right thing by overdoing. Think about the times you do this at home: “If three screws will do, five must be better.” Here are some more examples from the hospital: