Using Lean Methodology to Improve Patient Safety and Clinical Quality

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Clinical Performance Improvement

David Rice
Process Improvement Specialist

Traditional thinking states that quality comes at a price. Learn how to improve quality while gaining operational improvements. This presentation will show how OhioHealth positively impacts patient safety and clinical quality while reducing costs and improving efficiencies. Case studies will demonstrate lean tools utilized and results achieved.

Past thinking has been that patient safety and clinical quality improvements require additional costs as you implement new technology, additional inspection, or new checklists. Impacts to overall quality have been minimal, or have achieved short-term success before reverting back to the status quo.

Lean methodology requires identifying the source of process waste and variation. Eliminating these elements leads to a process with fewer steps and reduced hand-offs. This achieves a more robust process that not only improves efficiencies but also eliminates the opportunities for errors. This results in improved patient safety and clinical quality.

Improvements in both quality and efficiencies can be achieved regardless of whether your main focus is quality improvement or efficiency improvement. When OhioHealth embarked on the lean path five years ago, we learned that you cannot improve productivity without also positively affecting quality, and vice versa. Case studies will demonstrate how lean methodologies applied to productivity initiatives have resulted in significant quality improvements, and how these same methodologies have positive productivity impacts when applied to quality initiatives.