Could Incorporating Lean Management Principles Be Effective in LTC Facilities?

October 6, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​One aging services organization effectively modified its admission referral process using Lean management principles for five of its skilled nursing communities. It aimed to increase efficiency and potentially increase admissions. As reported in an article published in LeadingAge on September 18, 2017, the organization noted a decrease in overall admission rates that resulted in lower operating revenues and decided to overhaul its admission process through applying Lean management principles. Lean management is typically seen in manufacturing that involves “driving out waste so that all work adds value and serves the customer's needs," the article said. The organization began by conducting a root-cause analysis to identify the problem, then observed and collaborated with staff to understand current processes and pinpoint inefficiencies, and then used that data to map out to process steps and identify next-steps for improvement. In this example, the organization found that its process of review and response to hospital discharge planners was not standardized throughout its skilled nursing facilities and took an average of 40 minutes to complete.

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