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Naperville, IL, United States, 2011/03/24 - Leading Regional Hospital shares findings and results on innovative approach to engaging employees in Lean improvement at American College of Healthcare Executives Annual Congress in Chicago - ImproveFaster.com.
John Snyder, COO, and Beth Edrington, Director of Internal Consulting and Performance Improvement, presented how Carle Foundation Hospital has employed an innovative method for engaging nurses, technicians and other hospital employees to capture operating cost savings in just 60 days. In addition, the hospital has gained by building leadership skills and employee morale at the same time. The key to success: An innovative small team improvement process, developed by Leap Technologies, that gets hospital employees productively engaged in eliminating waste, implementing best practices and solving problems without the need for extensive upfront training, expert support or time off-the-floor.
Rapid Action Teams, as they are called at Carle Foundation, supplement the hospital’s Lean projects aimed at redesigning core patient care processes, and put a spotlight on taking waste out of the multitude of “behind the scenes” support processes that hospitals rely on to deliver care, such as facilities management, supplies ordering and inventory management, workforce scheduling, performance reporting, equipment maintenance, hiring and more.
Carle Foundation’s initial deployment of four Rapid Action Teams produced annualized cost savings of more than $250,000 for a better than 5x return on investment. The 28 employees participating on the teams were able to complete their team assignments while continuing to perform their normal duties. What makes this “low burden” approach to Lean improvement work is Rapid Action’s prescription of brief weekly meetings and individual assignments to test and implement cost-savings ideas over a 60-day time period.
Rapid Action Teams are supported with a highly structured and easy-to-use toolkit that guides employees in putting their ideas into action while learning basic Lean principles and tools. According to Edrington,“Hospitals are busy places and the Rapid Action approach, with its system of short team meetings, learn-you-go tools and individual assignments, fit our requirements perfectly.”
Carle Foundation has expanded its deployment of Rapid Action Teams into other areas hospital departments, tackling problems such as patient fall prevention, nurse overtime hours and supply costs from surgical supplies to services contracts. In some cases the results have far exceeded expectations as demonstrated by a team of nurses who designed and implemented “staff friendly”, but disciplined procedures to ensure nurses end their shifts on time, resulting in savings of more than $500,000 on an annualized basis from reduced overtime hours.
For a more information on Rapid Action Teams for accelerating Lean Healthcare in hospitals, including white papers, deployment options and additional case studies, visit improvefaster.com or call 1.800.254.6805.