Overcoming Unnecessary Variation

What does a hospital system do when $1.4 trillion, one-third of the annual healthcare spend at university hospitals, was wasted by defects? They shine a light on those defects in value and then prioritize solutions to overcome them.

Peter Pronovost, MD, Ph.D., the chief quality and clinical transformation officer at University Hospitals offers his insights into how to achieve advanced value-based care. According to Pronovost, “Healthcare is riddled with mindless variation.” By making defects visible, then creating processes to eliminate them, his team reduced their Medicare spend for patients from 2019 to 2020 by 13%.

While Pronovost was speaking about variation and defects from the clinical side, combating these, and carrying forward the principals of Lean throughout every area of healthcare is critical. Variation leads to waste which leads to avoidable spend. Logistics networks have variation – often unbeknownst variation – caused by many different third parties and many different people tasked with overseeing those third parties. In the COVID and, hopefully soon, post-COVID era, a Lean and agile approach to every aspect of healthcare will be critical.

Read the full interview with Peter Pronovost here.

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