Here’s a nice overview article about the Lean efforts of the ThedaCare health system in Wisconsin.
ThedaCare estimates that its work to improve efficiency in 2005 and 2006 cut costs by $22 million a year, without layoffs, while reducing medical errors.
That’s a nice example of how cost and quality can be improved together, with Lean.
The health care system also has shown that lower costs don’t mean lower quality. Last year, only one of 193 bypass patients who required only one graft died at a ThedaCare hospital, a mortality rate of 0.5%, compared with The Society of Thoracic Surgeons benchmark of 1.7%. ThedaCare’s mortality rate for other bypass surgeries also beats national benchmarks.
Lean’s not a “silver bullet” but it’s an important method for hospitals:
Most health care economists agree there is no single solution to controlling the rise in health care costs. But eliminating the waste in the health care system is considered one of the best hopes.
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