Increase clinician time at the bedside finally two

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Increase clinician time at the bedside. Finally, two interviewees stated that there is hope that the improved efficiencies could increase clinician time at the bedside, ultimately improving the quality of care provided. Alignment of Lean and Quality Improvement Efforts At LHC, process improvement and quality improvement are housed in three different corporate departments (Management Engineering/Lean, Six Sigma, and Quality Improvement). The Quality Improvement Department is responsible for the clinical quality outcomes and abstracts and submits the data required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Joint Commission. Data include clinical process and outcomes data, patient safety data, patient satisfaction data, and other data. The Management Engineering/Lean and Six Sigma departments are largely in charge of process improvement, related training, and technical assistance.
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218 The two process improvement departments, Six Sigma and Management Engineering/Lean, are corporate departments and report directly to the president and COO. Management Engineering/Lean began in 2003. The leaders of both departments, together with staff, work in tandem to collect data and identify solutions. Depending on the circumstances, they might also work together to apply a set of tools toward a joint solution. Staff in the Six Sigma Department have varied backgrounds. They spend 3 years in the department and earn a “black belt” before moving on to more senior management and executive roles in the organization. Staff in the Management Engineering Department must have specialized engineering education and/or experience. The CEO stated that staff in this department are also considered for leadership roles in the organization. LHC has overall objectives for Lean, referred to as “Global Golden Objectives,” that are reviewed by the corporate executives on a quarterly basis. The objectives serve as global metrics for monitoring and tracking the success of Lean activities, both on a micro level (for project- specific indicators) and on a macro level. The Global Golden Objectives comprise positive financial returns, reduced space utilization, optimization of clinicians’ time to see patients, and reduction of travel distance. The objectives are derived from the cultural transformation initiative’s points. For example, one of the objectives is to reduce travel distance for both staff and patients. By better organizing the location of materials and services and planning the flow of patients and staff, a number of unnecessary steps can be eliminated, and the amount of walking can be reduced. Several interviewees reported that the Lean approach was well suited for use in clinical processes (as compared to administrative processes) because it could reduce waste, offer quick results, and involve frontline staff in finding solutions. Other tools, such as Six Sigma, were described as being more rigorous solutions to reducing variation across the organization but taking 4 9 months to achieve returns.
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