Thanks for visiting our Lean Healthcare blog

We have moved to a new blog here.

You can find out more about our Lean support for Healthcare, the Public Sector and Industry by clicking the relevant link. You may also be interested in our Accelerated Lean Skills Programme.

You can also follow us on Twitter, Linked In, Facebook or our RSS Feed.

Alternatively, visit our website, use our contact form or call us on +44(0) 870 446 1002.

Moving Home

After three years of producing what we hope you will find are high quality blog posts we are moving to a new wordpress blog address.

From now on you will be able to continue to follow up at: http://amnisnews.wordpress.com/

Hope to see you there!

Is collaborative improvement really possible in healthcare?

In the words of one CEO the savings that need to be made in the NHS will not be achieved by buying paperclips more cheaply or by banning the purchase of post-it notes. The only real way forward to achieve the improvements that are really required is to work collaboratively – but is it really possible to do this?

There are few healthcare systems that can show evidence of working together collaboratively on anything more than a small scale. In fact, much collaboration is resisted because one party will see that the outcome is detrimental to their own organisation’s income or activity. Whole programmes have been put at risk by the inertia that enters into a system when senior leaders think parochially and lose sight of the bigger picture and the fact that ultimately everyone will be a winner but not everyone can win everytime.

To find out more about how we are working with whole health systems to introduce collaborative transformation contact us today on 0870-446-1002 or visit our website at www.amnis.uk.com.

Converting Brown Paper into Improvements

How many Lean or Improvement programmes simply lead to the production of vast amounts of brown paper with sticky notes on them? Whilst doing such things as Process Mapping and Value Stream Mapping is exciting, if these are not turned into actual improvements then the whole process will be a waste of time.

Is it any wonder that when people have been involved in one service redesign exercise after another that have not led to actual improvements in the way things are done that they lose the desire to get involved in new initiatives? The problem is that the management ‘will’ to follow through normally does not extend beyond the actual ‘brown paper’ exercise itself. This is because implementation is hard and time-consuming and, being frank, less exciting than putting post-it notes onto brown paper but it is only implementation that generates the improvements ultimately.

To find out how we can help you turn brown paper into improvements call us on 0870-446-1002 or visit www.amnis.uk.com.

UK lagging in the health efficiency league table

According to the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) the UK is lagging in efficiency compared to other similar healthcare systems around the world including Italy, Norway, Poland and Portugal. Whilst there is a chance that recent funding changes are still ‘working through the system’ it is likely that even when this is taken into account the NHS will continue to have a lower efficiency than comparable systems elsewhere.

Some of this is related to the way that our system is set up to encourage organisations not to work together effectively by focusing on the income of individual organisations and not focusing on ‘whole systems’ working and the efficiencies of whole pathways. Even more inefficiency is brought about by the inherentcultural inertia in the system brought about by low levels of trust between teams and between organisations and a desire for individual organisations to implement their own transformation plans in isolation of other organisations, even when most patient pathways span at least two and often more organisations.

Do these behaviours lead to optimum performance? Well, with examples cited by the OECD in the UK of high unneccessary admission rates for things such as COPD and Asthma and other evidence about the actual amount of time spent by clinicians working directly with patients would suggest that a fragmented approach to transformation would be sub-optimal.

To find out how we can help you create an integrated transformation plan contact us today on 0870-446-1002.

Lean is Green

Lean is not just about reducing process waste (and therefore improving productivity). Lean can also impact on the environmental performance of organisations. If you can reduce the number of journeys your vehicles need to make that impacts on petrol costs, whilst taking out unneccesary processes can reduce energy and material costs.

Lean isn’t mean, Lean is green and if you want to know more then you can contact us on +44(0) 870-446-1002 or email info(a)amnis.uk.com.

A3 Thinking

The following is an article that appeared in Amnis’s monthly newsletter. To receive a similar article every month as well as opportunities to download guides and books join our newsletter today by visiting www.amnis.uk.com.

Being clear about the problem you are attempting to solve is as important as how you tackle it. Where you sit in a pathway will affect how you perceive what needs to be done and where you would like to focus. For example, deciding to tackle ‘Urgent Care’ may mean something completely different to a commissioner than it does to a Nurse based in a hospital based assessment unit. These differences may appear slight at the outset when the desire to improve is very high but as time goes on and plans turn into actions if there is a difference of opinion about what the ultimate aim is then the problems about how the ‘wins’ are distributed and who will lose budgets or need to make additional investments can become real barriers to moving forward.

Effectively scoping the problem prior to moving into action is the key to improvements within individual pathways and in Lean Systems this often means using an A3 or Scoping Paper that clearly sets out the compelling need for change, has defined measures of success (with tangible numbers attached) and tackles such things as the project risks (and how to control them), the other projects going on (and how you will link to them) and the fixed points (in terms of things that cannot change). This isn’t the only information you will need but it will go a long way to ensuring your programme sets off in the right direction.

If you work within a healthcare or other public sector organisation or within a manufacturing or other industrial company and would like a template for an A3 please contact us via email to info(a)amnis.uk.com.