Does your organization struggle to sustain quality improvement activities?
Do you spend time training and retraining staff, yet still find the practices aren’t being followed?
Are you venturing into the world of value-based payment or BPCI, but worried about controlling costs and protecting revenue?
Do you yearn to spend more time on proactive improvement rather than constantly fighting fires?
Does the survey process fill you with anxiety, or do you struggle with creating plans of correction?
Perhaps Lean is the missing link.
So What’s Lean About?
Focus on Value
Lean is about creating the best possible value for residents. Lean is a systemic approach to improvement, and focuses on identifying and eliminating waste (of resources, time, effort, and even human potential) through continuous improvement (kaizen) by investing in and empowering everyone in an organization through an engrained philosophy of respect for people. Lean is rooted in the Toyota Production System, and has been successfully deployed in a variety of sectors, including healthcare where efforts have shown significant improvements in quality, safety, efficiency, and employee engagement. Thedacare, Virginia Mason, Presbyterian Homes and Services and a host of other healthcare organizations have already realized incredible results by applying Lean principles to their operations. In long-term care, Lean also helps accelerate culture change and person-centered improvement initiatives.
- Lean is about creating a culture of continuous improvement (kaizen) where everyone in the organization looks for opportunities to reduce waste and increase value.
- Value-added processes must be what a customer (resident/ employee/ stakeholder) wants, is willing to pay for, and done right the first time. Non-valued added but necessary processes (such work required by regulation) should be minimized.
- Lean focuses on identifying and removing waste: Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-utilized talent, Transportation, Inventory, Motion, and Excess processing.
Respect for People
- Respect for people means that managers spend considerable time on the floor, working directly with staff to address problems through root cause analysis and sustainable improvements.
- Organizations provide education, development opportunities, training and necessary resources to effectively empower workers and create exceptional employees.
- A “Just Culture” approach to errors and mistakes ensures that employees are accountable for behavior but not blamed for system and organizational defects.
- Management is oriented to a long-term, value-based view instead of towards short-term financial goals. Cost-cutting mentality is replaced by value-adding thinking.
- Decisions should be made slowly, by consensus (or learning circles), but implemented rapidly.
Want to learn more? Check out Lean for Long-Term Care and Aging Services: A Practical Guide to Driving Improvement, Engagement and Resident-Centered Service available now from Amazon. Written especially for aging services providers, principal Sean Carey describes lean philosophy in detail and shows you how to implement proven tools and techniques to build a culture of continuous improvement.