After meeting with the Executive Team of a large hospital system recently, I was reminded of how difficult it is for leaders to find time to create Lean Healthcare momentum. Momentum is defined as force or speed of movement. So, what should Lean Healthcare leaders be trying to move and what is their role? I believe that they are the “force” that moves people (the organization) from the inertia of the Current State to the new world of the Target State. The Current State is firefighting and chaos. The Target State is stability and calmness.
There is no magic bullet for Lean Healthcare leaders to get the proverbial ball rolling and keep it rolling. However, there are numerous guidelines that will make the daily task feel much less intimidating or overwhelming:
- Start small – bite off a small problem that you can fit into your schedule.
- Don’t aim for perfection – “don’t let best get in the way of better.”
- Observe your staff’s work for 30 uninterrupted minutes per week – you will be amazed at what you see.
- Just start drawing – A3s don’t have to be pretty.
- Free up minutes of time for Lean vs. looking for hours – change your standard meeting time from 60 to 30 minutes by focusing them on decision-making and problem-solving (believe me, it is liberating).
You don’t need to have a big bang to get the improvements started. As long as you are moving your processes toward Ideal, you are Eliminating Waste and Improving Outcomes.
There really are more hours in the day. Actually, there are more Value-Added hours in the day. Waste consumes our precious time and keeps us from doing the fun stuff – improving. Make the decision today to become relentless about Eliminating Waste in your day so you can be a “Lean Force” to be reckoned with.
Today’s blog was written by Dwayne Keller, Executive Vice President of Operations at Medical Reimbursements of America (MRA).
Currently, Dwayne is leading the implementation of Lean in MRA’s revenue cycle operations. Prior to MRA, as COO of Healthcare Performance Partners, he coached hospital executives and all levels of leadership in the implementation of Lean Healthcare, resulting in significantly improved outcomes. Dwayne served as a General Manager over two manufacturing plants at Alcoa in which fifty percent of the floor space was freed up using Lean principles and tools. He was also responsible for driving business results through Lean implementation in five Alcoa business units as an Executive Lean Coach.
Dwayne holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Bucknell University and a MBA from Clemson University.