One of the most widely heard terms in healthcare circles today is ‘outcomes.’ This is both good and bad. It is certainly positive that outcomes appear to act as a rallying flag for improvement efforts. A potential downside exists, however, depending on how things are done once an outcome is deemed important enough for management to allocate improvement resources to it.
In a previous post, I described how problems in the management of surgical inventory at a large, multi-site hospital were addressed. In this post, I will try to make explicit the connection between some of the activities carried out on that project and Lean thinking.