The objective of an improvement program in healthcare is to ensure the  flow of patient and information is uninterupted.  The key to improve flow is to eliminate or reduce activities that are hampering it. These activities are classified as “wastes”. The following table provide examples of potential wastes in the healthcare sector.

Types of wastes Examples.
Waiting

 Samples waiting to be analysed.

Patients waiting for treatment.

Patients waiting to be discharged.

Inventory

Required medication was not available.

Medication in stock has expired.

Excessive Processing Excessive steps in information processing.
Processing non critical information.
Too many keystrokes.
Too many forms to fill.
Over production

Repetitive information.

Transportation

Movement of patient.

Movement of medical personnel.

Movement of medical records.

Unnecessary motion

Walking to information.
Looking for records or tools.
Retrieveing printed documents.

Defects

Different information given to patient by different people.

Identifying wastes is the beginning of the process. Once you identified them, how do you quantify wastes? The answer to that is by comparing the process with customer demands. Our Opertions Strategic Review assist healthcare service providers to learn to see wastes, quantify it and use the most common and effective tools to eliminate it.