The first step to achieving Operational Efficiency in Hospitals is developing practical, workable Systems across all Process Areas of the Hospitals, in close consultation with all stake holders to that Process. It is on the foundation of a robust set of Systems, supported by Policies, Procedures, Protocols and Operating Manuals that any Process Efficiency Improvement can be achieved.
Hospitals are going through a very challenging time. Their capacity to attract the right staff and retain them is going to be key to surviving this critical period. Training and encouragement help improve efficiency at work and drives their optimum utilisation. Ensuring Employee satisfaction is also key. The Hospital must seem to them like a very desirable place to work.
Layout and design of the Hospital also plays a huge role in improving staff efficiency. Minimising the distance they need to cover every day on the Hospital floor reduces fatigue and stress and improves efficiency.
Improving Equipment Utilisation hinges very much on the quality of the Break down and Preventive Maintenance Program at the Hospital. The Utilisation Coefficient (UC) needs to be regularly monitored. Other factors include obsolescence, the non availability of technology and of the required consumables and spares.
Implementation of Lean in a Hospital helps identify typical 'waste' activities i.e., those that are non-value adding and then in eliminating them. Such 'wastages' include errors, unnecessary inventory, unnecessary movement of staff, delays, wastage of operational time due to equipment set-up, patients' waiting for receiving services etc.
Many organizations in the manufacturing sector have over the years tremendously benefited from Lean Management and now it is the turn of the Healthcare Sector to reap the benefits.
Some of the typical benefits that your Hospital could get out of a Lean Program include:
Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating defects in any process, by constantly striving towards six standard deviations between the mean and the nearest specification limit, applicable from manufacturing to transactional and from product to service. The statistical representation of Six Sigma describes quantitatively how a process is performing.
To achieve Six Sigma, a process must not have more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside of customer specifications.
The fundamental objective of the Six Sigma methodology is the implementation of a measurement-based strategy that focuses on process improvement and variation reduction through the application of improvement projects. This is accomplished through the use of two Six Sigma sub-methodologies: DMAIC and DMADV. The Six Sigma DMAIC process (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) is an improvement system for existing processes falling below specification and looking for incremental improvement and also used to develop new processes or products at Six Sigma quality levels. It can also be employed if a current process requires more than just incremental improvement.
Both Six Sigma processes are executed by Consultants who are Six Sigma Green Belts and Six Sigma Black Belts, and are overseen by Six Sigma Master Black Belts.
General Electric, one of the most successful companies implementing Six Sigma, has estimated benefits on the order of $10 billion during the first five years of implementation. GE first began Six Sigma in 1995 after Motorola and Allied Signal blazed the Six Sigma trail. Since then, thousands of companies around the world have discovered the far reaching benefits of Six Sigma.
5S is an abbreviation from the Japanese words Sort (Seiri), Set-in-order (Seiton), Shine (Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu) and Sustain (Shitsuke). They are simple but effective methods to organize any workplace as one can see from the English translations, i.e., housekeeping, workplace organization, cleanup, keep clean and discipline
Each is defined as follows:
As the 5S Philosophy focuses on effective work place organization and standardized work procedures, it can be implemented as small projects in specific areas, along with the NABH Accreditation or the ISO 9001 Certification process. In the area implemented it simplifies the work environment, reduces waste and non-value activity while improving quality efficiency and safety.