When it comes to Lean and healthcare, you really shouldn’t view it as just another program, or a business section that needs to be introduced. In fact, Lean is a complete transformation of a facility from the bottom up. You should look at it as a brand-new business culture that will help your company achieve groundbreaking results.
Once you implement Lean into your work community, you will see changes in the atmosphere, employee attitude, work efficiency, work habits and, of course – overall productivity. Lean is not something you do once and then forget about; it is an ongoing transformation of your work environment and everyone involved in it.
If Lean can be summed up in a single phrase, that it would probably be – gradual improvement. That’s what Lean really comes down to: it is a gradual improvement of a company, in every possible way. Furthermore, it creates a whole new set of professional values your employees can adhere to.
Lean unifies the whole work process around a single purpose, giving both the employees and patients a sense of working on a common goal. In turn, this results in outstanding results and numerous physical and psychological benefits.
Let us break down all the principles of implementing Lean management into your healthcare company. You will see all the ways in which your health care company can be transformed if you opt for it.
1. Increased Employee Engagement
Employees are given tasks which help increase their overall work engagement and productivity. They are allowed to come up with new ideas for improving their engagement, and discuss them with their colleagues. Communication among workers is smoother, discussions are more constructive and goal-oriented, and each problem is worked on until a solution is reached. Every new idea is welcomed, and every possible approach to the work process is given enough thought.
This practice has proved to be highly effective, as employees who speak to each other openly are more engaged and productive. The core value of this practice lies in its team-building aspects, as effective collaboration of the entire medical team can significantly reinforce all aspects of the work process.
2. Increased Efficiency
The entire work process is rethought and redesigned. The most important feature of the Lean practice is the creation of standardized protocols; these are designed in such a way that they cut all unnecessary aspects of the work procedure and reinforce its integral parts. Staff members are focused on problem-solving as one of the major contributing factors to the overall quality of the workflow.
Oftentimes, this practice turns entire medical facilities upside down, rearranging the work process in the best possible way. The biggest asset of this practice is the strengthening on the whole work environment, where every staff member knows exactly what to do and how to do it.
3. Reinforced Skillsets
The skillset of the staff members is their most important asset. Without skilled, knowledgeable workers, the whole medical facility can be compromised, and this could even lead to fatal consequences.
Lean methodology puts extra focus on the skillset of the workforce, making sure that every team member is absolutely equipped (professionally, physically and psychologically) for performing their given tasks. The work process can further be improved through the use of Lean consultants and facilitators, who apply the best practices for workplace optimization.
Staff members are treated as equal employees (each with their own skillset) and the entire work process is set to respond to an individual’s set of skills and responsibilities. As a result of this, delays are minimized, work volume is increased and turnover time is cut down significantly.
4. Increased Work Flexibility
Sometimes, when a situation requires it, the work process has to be adjusted to the new “environment”. In these situations, work flexibility is extremely important. Working around an emergency, and coming up with the most effective strategy is key for all medical facilities.
Lean implementation helps medical facilities improve their work flexibility and optimize their employees for all case scenarios. This results in better overall efficiency and increased productivity.
5. Reinforced Reputation
If a healthcare company or a medical facility works like clockwork, it will definitely show in their reputation among the clients and patients. Lean management helps healthcare companies reinforce their image among clients through consistent quality of services provided. Sadly, this is something that many companies choose to ignore.
With too many drops in the quality of service, a company jeopardizes its future in the market. Through Lean management, every part of the company will come together, turning the entire company into a healthy organism. When a company works perfectly, the service recipients will be absolutely satisfied – and they will spread the word around.
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