FLOW in Healthcare
FLOW is a beautiful word, idea, concept…to a naturalist it may remind them of a fast flowing, gurgling river. To the businessmen amongst us, it about Cash Flow and to a healthcare professional it is probably about blood and oxygen flow!
Whatever be the case, obstruction to FLOW causes problems. Identifying and reducing obstructions to Flow is at the heart of Kaizen or Lean or at the heart of a Hospital productivity and efficiency improvement program.
Within a hospital context there are multiple Flows happening all at the same time – Flow of patients, medication, information, staff, lab samples, relatives etc. Question is – can we identify these flows? Do they flow? are these flows broken or slow? The moment flow is broken there is waste, waiting, patient dissatisfaction and in extreme cases negative clinical implication!
Hospital Operations improvement must be a systematic and scientific process, involving training and engaging an entire cross section of hospital staff to improve flow.
Kaizen is a flow improvement package that needs to be adopted by every hospital that is keen to drive continual flow improvements…Kaizen.
Faster patient check in and checkout, reduced set time between two surgeries, better hospital inventory management, faster turn-around in the lab, lower equipment down time, space optimization and higher people engagement in problem solving and their engagement in improvement are some benefits seen immediately and are lasting.
Improve or perish, Make it Flow or stagnate…..are options!