Healthcare

Full Service, Multiple Location Healthcare Provider (400 beds)
Overall Process Improvement Strategy

Problem
Long wait times, low patient/family satisfaction scores and high costs were some of the motivations for change. Throughout the organization there was a desire to achieve highest quality of care and more efficient flow, but there was a lack of overall strategic planning and tactical knowledge to do so.

Solution
  1. Through strategic process improvement activities, aligned resources and skills with overall objectives
  2. Involved staff with hundreds of process improvements and thousands of Kaizen Events
  3. Multiple waves of LSS Green Belt and Black Belt training tied to projects
  4. Developed an organization structure to drive Performance Improvement with a Champion
  5. Standardized selection criteria for projects and Kaizen Events
  6. Established standard use of Value Stream Mapping, action plans and Kaizen Events
  7. Implemented visual dashboards, communications plans and line of site accountability

Results
  • $7,000,000 savings over a 3 year period
  • Improved customer satisfaction scores
  • Employees at every level of the organization are now trained and capable of completing process improvements and can lead Kaizen Events
  • Master Black Belt developed and in place to lead and coach staff through future process improvement efforts

Orthopedics Clinic
Improving Patient Access

Problem
Walk in and call in patients were dissatisfied with the excessive time required to check in. Patients wanted faster and friendlier access. The clinic wanted efficient access to patients.

Solution
  1. Consolidated 1-800 numbers to dedicated “live” operator
  2. Simplified automated phone tree
  3. Redesigned the front office for better flow – less wait time for patients
  4. Realigned job duties resulting in focused responsibilities with back-ups in place
  5. Implemented a greeting station with person to greet, direct and answer questions
  6. Cross-training for better coverage and increased capacity

Results
  • Faster response time
  • Increased patient satisfaction
  • Reduced overtime
  • Improved employee morale

National Healthcare Provider
Reducing Medicare enrollment lead-time

Problem
Regulatory requirements mandate a maximum allowable time to process enrollments. In addition, no errors are allowed. Both time and quality objectives were not being met.

Solution
  1. Installed visual control boards with daily reviews
  2. Cross-trained for flexible workforce
  3. Standardized placement of temporary workers verses experienced full time employees
  4. Eliminated non-value added steps

Results
  • Average enrollment time cut by 50%
  • Errors reduced by 55%
  • Process steps: was 45 steps, now 25 steps
  • $770,000 annualized savings ($155k hard savings and $615k cost avoidance)

Healthcare Clinics
Immunization Process Efficiencies

Problem
Inconsistent and inefficient processes related to providing immunizations to patients including: site inventory & ordering; purchasing & shipping; administration to patients; and data entry.

Solution
  1. Standardized vaccine list and moved to electronic order format
  2. Established control mechanisms to emphasize preventing errors before they happen
  3. Modifications made to reduce data entry time and improve data collection
  4. Developed protocols for pre-visit preparation
  5. Reconfigured care team staffing
  6. Agreement to order pre-filled syringes when available to reduce errors, needle sticks and time to administer

Results
  • Improved productivity by 40%
  • Eliminated 16 of 27 steps in the ordering process
  • Reduced staff time required for immunization related activities
  • Obtained cost savings from improved purchasing practices

Some of the other healthcare related projects we have supported

Reduced:
Length of stay in trauma center
Inventory of hospital materials
Accidents and claims in a specific category
Time from order to CT scan
Costly urgent care appointments
Lead-time for screening procedure
Occurrence of Pneumonia
Hospital acquired pressure ulcers
Wait time to schedule and see specialist
Medication errors
Surgical supply use and cost
Travel expenses
Emergency department throughput time
Abandoned calls
Patient wait time at registration
In patient fall rate
Needle stick injuries
Average time in billing cycle
Wait times and length of stay at Emergency Dept
Rental and supply costs
Reimbursement to Medicare for incorrect billing
Overall cost of I.V. pumps through increased utilization

Improved:
Availability of hospital materials
Risk Mitigation process
Management of shared equipment
Blood labeling to meet Joint Commission requirements
Ambulatory turnaround time
Patient and family member satisfaction
I.V. pump utilization and inventory control
Lab specimen quality
Referral Management to outsourced services
Controls for operating room supplies
Patient flow through the Emergency Dept.
Quality of dental billing claims
Throughput of unscheduled patients
Forecasting accuracy and efficiency
Faster and more efficient: Refill process in pharmacy
Month-end closing
Admitting process
Transfer of patients out of ICU/ED
Physician onboarding process

Increased: Rate of co-pay collection
Efficiency of appointment scheduling
Capacity of primary care provider
Facilities maintenance efficiencies
Clinic capacity through more effective scheduling
Utilization of in-home care equipment
Quality of Medicare enrollment
Billing revenue with more effective claims processing