Supply Chain: Essential to Improve Patient Outcomes

Clinical improvements—the key to making patient interactions widely successful—“requires getting the right products, services and capabilities into the hands of clinicians and the supply chain is essential in driving scalable, sustainable improvements in the health care system,” said a recent article in H&HN.

Recognizing the supply chain’s importance in overall success as an organization can lead to widespread benefits within healthcare. When organizations are looking for ways to make clinical improvements, it makes sense to involve supply chain early in the process because it “can expedite the adoption of meaningful medical advancements for better patient care.”

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Lean Six Sigma Can Cut Wait Times in the ER

At MedSpeed we benefit from Lean Six Sigma (LSS). Lean Management is the ongoing effort to eliminate or reduce ‘waste’ and Six Sigma is a disciplined, data-driven method for eliminating defects in any process.

Early on, we adopted LSS as an integral part of our quality management system because the lean philosophy allows us to maximize customer value while minimizing waste. Implementing LSS means we are able to create more value for customers with fewer resources.

And while the methods of LSS were originally developed within the context of manufacturing, they have been successfully applied to other industries, as we know from personal experience. A study earlier this year conducted by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, looked at whether wait times in hospital emergency rooms/departments could be cut if hospitals utilized Lean Management and Six Sigma techniques.

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Better Efficiency Can Lead to Better Care and a Better Bottom Line

An industry survey conducted by HealthLeaders, entitled “Better Care and the Bottom Line,” recently caught my eye. As part of the survey, HealthLeaders asked 289 healthcare executives what they believe are the major drivers of waste in healthcare today and what they believe can help fix the problem. The respondents listed the following as the key contributors to waste:

  • Operational inefficiency
  • Overutilization of services
  • Lack of system integration
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