Saturday, September 14, 2013

JHF and Lean Methodology

One of the main ideas of this week's readings is Lean Manufacturing, focusing on the Toyota Way. Using the Lean Production methods in the healthcare field has proven to be beneficial in many different ways, especially in the quality and financial departments. Under the recently passed Patient Protection and Affordable Care act (2012), we are currently in the stage of healthcare reform. Under the new Act, Medicaid payments are to be cut if hospitals do not reduce preventable hospital admissions.

The Jewish Healthcare Foundation, focusing on its subsidiary the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), with a grant, known as the Health Care Innovation Fund, from the CCMI. PRHI, along with a couple of hospitals around the southwestern Pennsylvania and West Virginia are, has begun to impose the new project known as the Primary Care Resource Center project (PCRC).

The reason for this back story is that this project falls into the basics of quality improvement which stems from Lean quality improvement methods. By creating these centers within hospitals, they are hoping that the percentage of readmissions falls dramatically by better preparing patients.

So with this in mind, my question or pondering thought is that with these new projects that have been created to better prepare for the healthcare reform, what are the next steps within this process. JHF has created a Lean methodology that has been proven to work to help reduce hospital quality measures by adopting the values from Toyota's Lean methodology; however, where can we stop at. By researching and studying other supply chain methods in all different areas (i.e. IKEA) we may be able to personalize other methodologies to support healthcare needs in order to help reduce preventable errors. We may study IKEA's supply chain method and find a comparison to a division in a hospital setting, or so on. If a car company's methodology works (with slight modifications, but same core values) in a hospital, what is to say that other company's methodologies will not work as well in the healthcare field; especially in this time of dire need.


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