Lean Healthcare Success in Albany NY

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Area hospitals make strides in quality of care — Page 1 — Times Union – Albany NY

The CEO of a health system in New York writes his local paper with reports of Lean success:

Northeast Health has adopted a different approach to quality by empowering our physicians, nurses and other supporting staff to make frontline decisions and assume leadership positions in quality initiatives.

Employing Toyota's LEAN production model and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's evidenced-based medicine philosophy, I can share quantifiable data, which show our organizations are making progress in improving quality. For example, Samaritan Hospital's raw mortality rate has decreased by 30 percent since 2005 and Albany Memorial's by 17 percent.

We're also proud of our patient satisfaction scores. Recent survey results from the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems showed both hospitals combined ranked first in eight out of 10 patient satisfaction measures compared to other local facilities for July 2007 to June 2008.

That's great stuff. It shows that healthcare quality and performance aren't universally good or bad. There's a lot of variation right now.

Some hospitals are doing great things. So how can we spread Lean so everyone can benefit from these levels and types of improvements.

Norman E. Dascher Jr., the CEO at Albany Memorial Hospital Samaritan Hospital, concludes:

I offer this data not to claim we're better than anyone else. I share it as evidence we're making quality strides every day because it's the right thing to do.

I've heard other Lean hospitals make this same point. They get improvements not because their people are smarter or work harder or care more. Anybody can do this if you follow the Lean mindsets and methods. It's not that everyone WILL, but I think everyone CAN. Do you?

Want more examples? Visit my interactive map at www.leanmaps.com. It's already been viewed 5700 times in under a week and a few people have helped edit and input data. So can you if you're interested and somewhat tech savvy (see here).

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