Improvements in the Manufacturing Industry versus Health Care Industry
For many years, the patients’ medication and therapy is ordained by the doctors. Therapy process is changing from the doctor applying their superior knowledge, experience as well as subjective evidence to a firmer evidence-based model. As well, health care’s are struggling to become accustomed to the changing environment that is being pressed upon them by the new health care improvement law as well as the increasing pressure to function more efficiently. When the revenues begin to reduce, it pushes the health care delivery system to re-assess the processes of care delivery. This paper will analyze some of the key principles where the quality and process improvement initiative is based as well as how these principles have functioned in health care organizations that have executed them, and the lessons acquired from those experiences.
Manufacturing industry has a wide variety of services that makes the organization grow on a daily basis and furthermore, they usually have advertisings that make it more striking to the customers. This advertising makes the manufacturing industries so challenging that they need to increase the quality and services. On the other hand, health care it is completely different and comprises direct dealing with human nature that has diverse feelings and one must make sure that their feelings are consistently taken care of. Every person has different view when it comes to healthcare (Nicolay, et al., 2012).
Early in the 1970’s, the Japanese started introducing high quality and lower cost cars into the American economy. The economy of Japanese began to rise in prominence becoming a financial source of power for several years. Although the issues of quality that have lately beleaguered Toyota in particular, it is still beneficial to study how the Japanese succeeded. American industrialized companies started to delve into Japan’s techniques as well as implementing them. The main important among them were the focus on competence and effectiveness. Nevertheless, throughout this period, health care providers stayed distant and unengaged in looking at what they principally contemplated the business of manufacturing. The doctors and hospital administrators assured themselves that they were unique and that health care provision was too intricate to lessen it to an assembly line platform and that there were no lessons to be learned from car manufacturers on how to assist people back to a healthy condition. The health care prices persisted to soar to new levels thus becoming a progressively big element of the gross national product and pushing health care costs into double-digit points year by year (Kim et al., 2006).
Health care providers have become excruciatingly conscious of reductions in compensation connected with demanding hospitals to reimburse cash paid to them if they billed for the care that lead to avoidable mistakes. All providers are observing the growth of main system changes that must decrease costs over the long run and make a system that is justifiable for future. Most of them are starting to take a cautious aspect at the successes perceived by the previously scorned manufacturing amenities in plummeting costs and refining the quality of outcomes(Nicolay, et al., 2012).
Since hospitals have always been the most expensive part of the health care, they have started to realize that they must change their past ways of functioning in a way that permits them lessen the costs while bettering the quality as well as lessening the mistakes. The methods that came out of Japan seem to provide a road map on how to achieve this. Principles that have worked in manufacturing can actually be transferred over to health care. Health care should constantly improve every process and work function by vigilance, awareness, and a willingness to experiment with a better way. These principles include the following:
Abolishing non-value added Activities
One of the most important principles of lean organization is the removal of any activity that does not add value to the organizations final product. In hospitals, this refers to any activity that is not essential in offering good patient care. Added value activities may include admitting the patient, having a nurse triage the patient and the doctor making the diagnosis. Having a patient wait in the waiting room or in a patient room is a non-value added activity. Lean management encourages employee contribution in process enhancement. Training employees on lean principle help to develop ways to reduce wait times. Likewise, health cares should reduce wait times in the operational department through executing lean principles (Kim et al., 2006).
The use of technology to enhance procedures as well as eradicating waste is adopted in the manufacturing industries should be incorporated in hospitals as well. Technology can help lessen the physical labor involved in many processes that occur within a hospital as well as improving general productivity. According to Kim (2006), the use of technology to handle the inventory significantly decreases the labor needed for such efforts. Labor-intensive inventory counts are very expensive and they as well consume a lot of time unlike digital tracking systems that can offer correct inventory counts at any time.
Keep the Inventory Low.
‘Just-in-time’ is another principle that lean management is applying to decrease inventory and related carrying costs. In the case of health cares, not overstocking goods can help hospitals to decrease supply costs related with goods that expire before they are used and the cost of warehousing extra supplies. Hospitals using Just in Time inventory approaches should be concerned with the number of supplies as well as their availability. Such approaches save nursing and clinical employees the time required to run between the patient and the storage area, which is a non-value-added activity (DelliFraine, Langabeer & Nembhard, 2010).
Focusing on Root Causes
Manufacturing industries focus on identifying the origin causes of all problems and accustoming the processes to stop the same problems from happening in the future. This should be the case in hospitals. If a problem occurs, the management should put its resources toward identifying where the breakdown occurred in the process and what can be done to improve it(Nicolay, et al., 2012).
Lean organization puts the power of improving an organization into the hands of staffs that unswervingly interact with the final products instead of the management. It trains the employees in lean processes and trusts them to develop the organization. For hospitals, employees who are directly involved with patient care have the responsibility to develop the process improvement.
All these concepts are important to a mindset of constant perfection which is the basis for making variations that improve competence as well as success. Additionally, they are also the main variable that leads to changes from standard processes (DelliFraine, Langabeer & Nembhard, 2010).
In conclusion, there are a lot of pressures on health care facilities and providers to get means to lessen the fast-growing costs of the present system. The approaches that manufacturing has used for many years to enhance the quality while plummeting cost are now achieving a strategic position in the health care industry and the providers are intensely involved in learning how to use the practices that are taught. An organization that is self-learning, continuously improving, and running competently is one that will subsist the changes of health care magnificently.
DelliFraine, J. L., Langabeer, J. R., & Nembhard, I. M. (2010). Assessing the evidence of Six Sigma and Lean in the health care industry. Quality Management in Healthcare, 19(3), 211-225.
Kim, C. S., Spahlinger, D. A., Kin, J. M., & Billi, J. E. (2006). Lean health care: what can hospitals learn from a world‐class automaker?. Journal of Hospital Medicine, 1(3), 191-199.
Nicolay, C. R., Purkayastha, S., Greenhalgh, A., Benn, J., Chaturvedi, S., Phillips, N., & Darzi, A. (2012). Systematic review of the application of quality improvement methodologies from the manufacturing industry to surgical healthcare. British Journal of Surgery, 99(3), 324- 335.