The health sector in Norway is large and complicated. How can we achieve more “health” out of very cent invested? So many good intentions and trials, but have they succeeded? It is important that doctors and nurses are involved in shaping their own work place. They know better where the problems are.
The involvement of management and their support is fundamental in creating healthy arenas of development. A focus on patient flow is important to create stability, and to reduce deviation and waiting lists. In this way quality becomes visual and the patient security is safeguarded.
According to our experience elements from Lean can be very powerful in these kinds of environments where medical doctors and other professionals are involved in creating a healthy learning arena with the right focus in more effective health and at the same time assuring care.
A lot of employees in nursing home today experience a heavy load related to many tasks, and the lack of inclusion in daily management and improvement. Rarely measures of satisfaction are conducted. A weak communication on different levels and a low degree of prevention.
An analysis in order to clarify the potential of improvement was conducted. All employees were involved in the mapping of improvement areas and the establishment of a vision, value, goal process as well as the implementation.
Improvement areas were the organization of the company and the clarification of areas of responsibility. A goal was to improve cooperation with management and communication internally, in the entire patient flow with hospitals and in relation with patient and next of kin. Further on we worked on implementing 5S and developing Best Practices, and in addition we developed a more effective meeting structure. Projects were initiated within rehabilitation, and a process that aimed at creating better quality of life was initiated. A process aimed at reducing errors and reoccurring faults was also implemented.
The process gave immediate results. Order and system was greatly improved. Less time was spent looking around and misunderstandings were reduced. The quality improved by implementing a standard on all levels. This lead to significantly less errors committed and greatly improved communication.
We experienced better interaction and efficiency in relation to hospital and doctors. And a significantly better dialogue and quality regarding next of kin, with a stronger focus on prevention and rehabilitation. More time became available to take care of residents and patients and their quality of life.
The nursing home also experienced a reduction of sick leave and is today considered a role model for the rest of Norway when it comes to Lean within this sector.
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