Lean & Collaborative Care at ThedaCare

Six Best Practice Elements of ThedaCare’s Collaborative Care Model

Here’s an article from Becker’s Hospital Review about the six best practices of Lean-based Collaborative Care at Thedacare. This is the same model that was featured a few months back on Fox News, you can see some video interviews with ThedaCare staff here.

The collaborative model has been widely successful in improving the quality of patient care and making that care more efficient, according to Kathryn Correia, senior vice president of ThedaCare and president of Appleton Medical Center and ThedaClark Medical Center in Neenah, WI.

ThedaCare has reduced costs by 25% under the Collaborative Care model, while also reducing:

length of stay by 25 percent and various error margins to nearly zero and significantly increasing patient satisfaction scores.

Correa highlights that the key to this innovation and process redesign is staff involvement at all levels. Collaboration among physician, nurse, and pharmacist roles is increased and waste and non-value added activity is reduced.

The six elements of Collaborative Care, according to the article, are (with my comment following)
  1. Collaborative rounding upon admission: rounding as a team to reduce delays and minimize handoff errors
  2. Evidence-based plans of care: standardized work for treatment of the patient
  3. Nurse as manager of care: Nurse as process owner, making suggestions to the MD (a huge culture shift)
  4. Tollgates: Ensure consistent, documented care, with the ability to stop the line if there is a problem or delay
  5. Electronic Medical Record: EMRs that provide notifications to nurses (a form of process error proofing)
  6. Purposeful design of physical space: Reducing walking to create more value-added time for patient care — 80% of supplies are kept in patient rooms.
The article suggests that more hospitals will be adopting this model. With the desperate need to reduce healthcare costs (and improve quality), my question is “When?”

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Mark Graban's passion is creating a better, safer, more cost effective healthcare system for patients and better workplaces for all. Mark is a consultant, author, and speaker in the "Lean healthcare" methodology. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent project is an book titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus.

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