Lean six sigma (LSS) is a methodology that relies on a collaborative team effort to improve performance by systematically removing waste. A recent study conducted by three Australian Universities examined the impact of applying LSS in a major Melbourne Hospital. Although it was identified as being more difficult to implement than in other industries, the benefits on discharge processes and patient flow were obvious.
The method aimed to streamline services by reducing the amount of time patients remained in the ED, reducing staff workload, stress and overall discharge processes. So is there a definitive solution to improving patient flow? Well maybe!
Collaboration is key to improving overall patient outcomes. In the past hospitals and healthcare organisations have compartmentalised their procedures and as a result have not kept their eye on the bigger picture. The bigger picture being the patient discharged from hospital in good health.
In recent months there has been an increased focus in applying a whole of hospital approach to improve patient flow. Many hospitals have actively taken more responsibility in improving the communication between departments, streamlining services and promoting collaboration to provide a more efficient service to the patient.
By cutting waste and abandoning dormant management techniques, hospitals can improve the amount of time patients spend in hospitals.
The next conference in this series, Whole of Hospital Strategies to Improve Patient Flow, takes place in May 2016. Book your place by February 19th to save $400.