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Free «Lean Healthcare» Essay Sample

For a long time period, a lot of hospitals across the globe have been facing the big problem of good healthcare delivery at lower costs. As a result of this, private insurances and government agencies across the world have been forced to raise their voices against the high cost of healthcare delivery in order to maintain their shares or profits. However, the overwhelming pressure of healthcare services to reduce the costs have reached the elasticity point, whereby costs cannot be reduced beyond that point in order to enable the hospitals to carry on with their routines, such as paying salaries and buying medicines among others. To ease the cost pressure, the Medicare and Medicaid of the U.S. Government came up with new policies which outlined that hospitals would not be paid for care demanded to some of preventable mistakes, such as acquired infections in hospitals and negligence of surgery during their undertakings (like leaving items on patients among others). Through this law, hospitals would be liable for the cost of any negligence to a patient or poor services of healthcare delivery.


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According to this article, it is approximated that negligence of hospitals have caused about 10,000 deaths and affected 2,000,000 Americans, where these mistakes are preventable. Consequently, hospitals across the globe have been forced to adopt Lean quality improvement techniques, like Error Proofing (Poka Yoke) and Root Cause Problem Solving (the 5 Whys) in order to combat those mistakes. It is also worth noting that hospitals have adapted other techniques, such as visual management and standardized work methods in addition to other lean management models, in order to enhance their communication and overcome the preventable errors. In addition, some hospitals have extended their knowledge by adaption of ‘blame free’ culture to stimulate all the stakeholders to report any notable errors, so that it can be resolved by the necessary team rather than covering up errors due to fear of chastisement or employing workarounds. Another root problem facing hospitals is lack of qualified employees, such as medical technologists, nurses and pharmacists. It is better to deliver less work of good quality with fewer employees rather than completing a lot of low quality work with more employees. Lean improvement ensures that waste and non-value added time is significantly reduced, thus allowing caregivers to spend more time with patients.

The Relationship of This Article with Lean Manufacturing College Course

This article is very creative, as it outlines several techniques of lean manufacturing in health care services delivery. Some of the lean manufacturing methods that have been mentioned in the article are; Error Proofing (Poka Yoke), Root Cause Problem Solving (the 5 Whys), visual management, standardized work methods and ‘blame free’ culture among others. I have learned some of these methods in the course, and others as well; it enlightened my knowledge about the course. It is also worth noting that I have gained a wide knowledge on this article, such as the ways of solving problem through application of lean manufacturing techniques, the importance of government in enacting a law that solve a problem and the important of an institution in admitting its blame and taking the necessary action in solving it.

Article 2 Summary: Lean Government's Promise of Going 'Lean'

It is unfortunate to see the most well advanced agencies like government that are still operating in old ages despite having good system. Majority of government agencies are old people who were either not well educated or advanced in the use of new technology, and this is why the efficiency is very low in these organs of the government. In addition, such government agencies are not ready to embrace changes and this is why many people cannot obtain their services due to a big work load. Moreover, such kind of government agencies cannot obtain new resources; instead they are left with fewer resources, thereby overworking few employees.

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However, as a result of slowness in services delivering via government agencies, governments have shifted their goals by embracing the Toyota model of Lean Manufacturing. The preliminary aim of lean is to focus on operation; that is the production method and the product as well as to stimulate the capacity in order to give quality services. It is worth noting the lean upload and that inefficiency exists in the production system and operation. Another aspect of lean is measuring the impact on time, customer satisfaction and capacity. Last but not the least, lean tries to improve the employees within the system.

However, despite the effective changes that have been offered by lean, there are several barriers in implementation of lean in government agencies. First, all the stakeholders surrounding the government are not ready to embrace changes. Second, government agencies and executives don’t bother with the services and operations. In most cases, those agencies officials are not competent, as they are elected through political means or any other individual purposes rather than serving the general public. Lastly, the emphasis of lean is on the wrong place at the right time. The main aim of lean is to reduce waste, yet waste is all over in the government; therefore, the officials (who are considered as waste in this article) cannot fully implement lean, as they are the ones to be eliminated and they cannot afford to lose their jobs.

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The Relationship of This Article with Lean Manufacturing College Course

Implantation of change in the government agencies is very crucial, as it offers a wide range of services to many people. This article has a very close correlation with the course, as it outlined ways of implementing lean manufacturing tool to the most vital organs of the government. After reading this article, I have learned that in order for lean manufacturing to be fully implemented, all the stakeholders must embrace it.


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