How to ensure your hospital is lean and efficient in 2014

2014 seems to be the year for leaner and meaner supply chain systems, but what about in terms of hospital infrastructure? From either a series of trial...

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|Apr 2|magazine6 min read

2014 seems to be the year for leaner and meaner supply chain systems, but what about in terms of hospital infrastructure?

From either a series of trial-and-error or sheer dumb luck, healthcare executives throughout the industry have determined what constitutes an intelligent hospital infrastructure. In terms of patient care, hospital efficiency, staff productivity and its bottom line though, the question remains: in a time of economic hardship, how do you persuade C-level executives to upgrade its infrastructure?

At a time when budgets seem to be constantly shrinking and costs inevitably rising, hospital executives are left suspended in a state of contemplation. Do companies take the risk and invest more money in their own infrastructure? Or is the money shelved in savings and manpower works harder to promote its current system?

Analysts and experts in cultivating and developing lean infrastructure have come together to produce four keys for lean healthcare infrastructure; these keys enable C-level decision makers to evaluate their respective hospital infrastructures, in order to best manage their hospitals.

The four keys for lean hospital infrastructure are:

1) Keep it simple

By leveraging existing and emerging technology, hospitals are able to develop efficient and low-cost intelligent technology infrastructures. The key here is focusing in on how the hospital is communicating, how often and with whom, in order to develop a well-rounded understanding of communications department as a whole. In order to improve this area, take a look at what information is missing from ongoing discussions and find ways to fill those gaps with relevant information concerning your hospital.

2) Stay lean

Embrace the industry-wide idea of “lean thinking” in your hospital. Initially introduced by Toyota, lean suggests getting things done in the right place, at the right time, in the right amount, while minimizing waste and being flexible to change.

3) Embrace the competitive market

Although securing funding is a complicated task, embracing an intelligent technology infrastructure will improve patient care and the bottom line. Be sure to document financial ROI before approaching small-scale investments and ask yourself the following questions: Does the project reduce the need for manpower? Could it save the hospital substantial amounts of money? Will it improve patient satisfaction? Does it show good faith or social responsibility initiatives?

4) Call in the experts

Conduct extensive online market research to find case studies or expert advice in your specialization or research affiliation. This expertise will prove to be essential in terms of your ability to research, acquire and support new technologies for your business, as well as the design, implementation, staff training and ongoing assessment of your existing structure.