Thursday, 11 March 2010

What problem are we really trying to solve here

As we work with more and more healthcare organisations in the UK it becomes more and more apparent that their biggest problems (the ones that keep their Chief Exec awake at night) are:
  • Financial performance
  • Hospital Acquired Infections
  • The 18 week Access target
  • The A&E/ED 4 hour and 8 hour targets
  • Length of Stay (LoS)
It becomes even more evident that LoS (for medical patients in particular) is the deepest cause for concern.

Extended Medical Los is a massive drain on finances, necessitating the opening up unfunded beds which require un-budgeted bank and agency usage (it is unrealistic, however, to close beds without firstly reducing LoS). The longer a patient remains in hospital the greater their chances of acquiring an infection (which extends LoS even further). Extended medical LoS also results in the practice of out lying medical patients onto surgical wards (which prevents the admission of revenue generating elective patients), and leads to a lack of available beds for A&E patients requiring admission (resulting in excessive breaches).

We have yet to work with any organisation (to date) that do not insist that extended medical LoS is indeed their biggest problem. However they still typically have a portfolio of (on average) 500 ongoing projects (trust wide) attempting to address ALL of the Trust’s problems. This huge portfolio, perversely, prevents staff from working full time on reducing LoS, their biggest problem, and making it part of the day job.

Understandably finance in today’s environment seems to rule the roost resulting in many ‘turnaround’ initiatives. As a result, for example, Pathology or MAU are asked what can they contribute to financial savings but will their proposals also help reduce LoS? This applies to all the divisional and departmental silos.

Can you imagine if we all acknowledged that a reduction in LoS would be the greatest contributor to achieving all of our other targets and just worked on that. Then we would be asking all the divisions, departments and services “what can you contribute to a reduction in LoS”.

Every division, every department and every service would then be perfectly aligned to work on one goal, to reduced LoS. True North as we call it. Imagine how the project portfolio would look then.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

The Visual Hospital Touchscreen Solution (e-VH)

Doing the right thing for every patient

We provide Lean Healthcare solutions to clinicians and managers that enable them to safely reduce the time patients stay in hospital.

After five years implementing Lean principles in various Healthcare establishments we wrote the book Making Hospitals Work and developed a bespoke ergonomic system, which accelerates Lean transformation, creates a common agenda for managers and clinicians, and enables hospitals to dramatically reduce patients’ length of stay.

Our patient-centric autonomated solution combines proven thinking with touchscreen technology supported by training and mentoring from recognised experts. It helps reduce the stress and administration overheads of clinicians and enables them to focus on individual patients. By using real-time patient information visible on the floor, clinicians can prioritise their daily workload and concentrate on their duties. It helps managers reduce costs by providing visual controls with action plans that enable them to make more informed decisions and schedule discharges to meet demand. The process increases throughput using the same resources * and provides managers with options to meet their targets.

[ PATENT PENDING: 0903144.4 ]

Visual Healthcare Solutions has brought together the Healthcare expertise of Senior Faculty Members from the Lean Enterprise Academy and Energized Work's innovative product development. We work closely with our clients to understand their needs and, being (and wishing to remain) a small company, we are able to respond quickly and deliver solutions that work.

Click here to learn more about the e-VH

* At one District General Hospital a 1.5 day reduction in the average length of stay (for acute medical patients) was realised within just thirty days. At another, a 47% increase in the throughput of acute medical patients was realised.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Free Webinar discussing the application of Lean in Healthcare

More than ever, in today's demanding economic climate, nothing is more important than Healthcare. All of us will need a good hospital some day and countries can easily go broke supporting traditional hospital management practices as the baby boomers begin to check in. Healthcare contains the most important value streams in society - those that touch our lives directly.

Clinicians use the scientific method to diagnose and treat patients - which is the foundation of evidence based medicine. In this webinar Marc and Ian discuss how we can use the same scientific method to diagnose the root causes of broken healthcare systems and, using evidence based management, come up with the appropriate countermeasures to improve the patient experience, relieve the overburden on hospital staff and treat more patients while saving hospitals’ resources.