Between adopting electronic health records, preparing for the ICD-10 transition and monitoring HIPAA compliance, health care providers have more IT tasks on their plates than ever before. This leaves little time for finding ways to improve operational efficiency and care quality.
Lean health care professional Mark Graban, who will be speaking at the Northeast Shingo Prize for Operational Excellence on September 25, sat down with us to discuss how health care providers can manage the changes coming their way while still focusing on long-range quality improvement goals.
Graban said technology can play a role in supporting a constantly improving health care system, but IT tools need to be unobtrusive and let people do their jobs efficiently. Additionally, managers need to get out of their office and interact with staff to see what works and what doesn't. With lean health care techniques, present and expanding IT mandates don't have to keep providers from looking for ways to make improvements.