Lean Approach for Healthcare Information Technology

by Anup Maurya
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Introduction

The lean management approach that includes Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is designed to increase efficiency. This can improve the quality of healthcare. For instance, in a thorough analysis of the literature on different methods of lean in healthcare D’Andreamatteo Ianni, Lega, and Sargiacomo (2015) prove that lean approaches can improve the efficiency of healthcare institutions through a variety of practical and tangible ways.

These improvements can be seen in efficiency, quality of care security, satisfaction of both staff and patients as well as cost-efficiency. The authors further state that there are no negative outcomes from the implementation of lean methods were discovered, however, there are not many studies that have included all of the benefits mentioned. The benefits of applying lean strategies are evident, suggesting that their advancement to promote health information technology (HIT) innovation is a good idea.

Lean implementation and the application of strategies in the health sector

D’Andreamatteo et al. (2015) examine the challenges obstacles, barriers, and facilitators of lean practices. A lot of the obstacles and issues are related to leadership challenges such as lack of focus and resistance from staff. The main facilitators that the researchers have identified are leadership effectiveness and support for employees. It is evident that an HIT leader can help facilitate the implementation of lean methods and employ to benefit from HIT innovation.

Leadership is crucial for lean strategies (in particularly, LSS) was similarly mentioned in Laureani as well as Antony (2015) as well as the authors show that leaders who are centered around people are better suited to implement LSS effectively. It is interesting to note to note that Snedaker (2016) has also highlighted one of the tenets of lean methods that is respect for everyone. This concept is important for a person-centered leader. Thus, adopting an approach to leadership that is centered on people could aid in incorporating lean principles to improve one’s leadership.

In addition, respect for people can be an important element for managing diversity that is a crucial factor to consider by an HIT leader. In her insightful account of the prejudices that exist in the world of introverts Susan Cain exemplifies the fact that understanding the particulars of human resources is vital to maximizing their capabilities (TED 2012). She suggests that the performance of a team could be enhanced if the unique characteristics of the members are cherished.

In the same way similarly, psychological personality expert Brian Little provides the information about human personality that suggest similar conclusions: people have different characteristics in a variety of factors that can have both negative and positive implications on various processes (TED 2016b) and that means these factors must be considered by an effective leader. Furthermore, Adam Grant, who studies the topic of creative individuals, shows that some characteristics which are considered to be negative (for example, procrastination with moderate intensity) could have positive impacts on an individual’s performance (for instance, in relation to creativity) (TED 2016a).

The management and respect for these characteristics is aligned with lean methods and could be crucial to assist employees in their efforts to improve continuously and improvement.

Conclusion

The lectures and discussions of this week suggest the respect and attention given to people is essential to increasing their productivity and driving them to achieve common objectives. This could and likely require continuous improvement through lean and creativity. Respect to employees is seen as one of the tenets of lean practices and also an instrument for their acceptance and growth, which is a sign of the significance of respect for employees to HIT leaders.

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