Medical practices arent that different from factories part I

40 %
60 %
Information about Medical practices arent that different from factories part I
Health & Medicine

Published on March 10, 2014

Author: PracticeCoPilot

Source: slideshare.net

Description

Sometimes learning something new requires searching outside of the places you normally look. Medical practice managers and owners can learn a lot about how factories deliver high quality products, on time, and at an affordable price. This is part one of a two part series on how medical practices aren't all that different from factories.

Medical Practices Aren’t All That Different From Factories Part 1 of a two part series Tony Milian – Managing Partner, Practice CoPilot, LLC For years as a consultant I was told by mentors never to make comparisons between factories and medical practices. I would hear things like, “Healthcare providers will never accept your ideas, if you try to use any comparison between what they do and how a manufacturing process operates.” and, “You must speak in terms they understand if you want them to buy into the Lean concepts you are trying to teach them.” Well let me tell you something, medical practices have a lot to learn from factories about how to provide high quality, on-time, and cost effective care. Here are a few reasons why healthcare isn’t all that different from manufacturing, and a few things that factories tend to do really well that can be applied to a medical practice. Factories build all kinds of products. Each step of the process adds a component or modifies the product in some way until the factory ends up with something they can sell to a consumer. Each component that is added or modified leading to the end product adds value to the product until it is worth something the consumer is willing to buy for a certain price. In medical practices, the patient is the consumer, and being in good health is the product they are willing to buy. The patient comes to the practice looking for routine or acute care. The practice runs a series of diagnostic tests to determine what the issue is. A diagnosis is presented by the doctor and a corresponding treatment is provided in order to bring the patient back to good health. Like with the factory example, patients are willing to pay for processes like diagnostic testing and a treatment plan in order to have the product of good health. In a factory, there are all kinds of things going on that the end consumer doesn’t care about. They don’t care about the meetings, accounting processes, paperwork, storage of goods, or the type of pallets that get used to transport the product on trucks to the store where they ultimately make their purchase. So long as all of these things don’t interfere with the product getting to them on time, adding to the cost, or reducing the quality, they are happy. The same thing is true for a lot of the things that are happening in any medical practice. The patient doesn’t care about the insurance eligibility process, the billing and posting of payments, which credit card processing company gets used, or what continuous education credits the practitioner needs to keep an active license. They just want to have their issue resolved as quickly as possible and in a way where their insurance company can cover the cost so they don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. Many of these activities happen to be business critical for both the factory and the medical practice. Without some of these things going on, they simply can’t keep the doors open. A factory must keep track of manufacturing lots with paperwork so that they know which products to recall in the event of an issue for example. Similarly, a practice must determine patient eligibility in order to establish copay

amount and possible deductibles. That still doesn’t change the consumer or patient’s perception of value however. They just don’t care. This is where factories have learned to streamline everything to help reduce costs and give the consumer more of what they want while reducing what they don’t really care about. Factories divide the activities that take place into three categories. Value added activities, required nonvalue added activities, and non-value added activities. These three categories help factories make decisions about where to make improvements to their processes. Value added activities are those things that change the form, fit, or function of the product and ultimately lead to the end product that a consumer purchases at the store. These are things like molding, extrusion, assembly, etc. In a medical practice, the value added activities are things like diagnostic testing, and ultimately the treatment plan that the doctor prescribes to solve the particular health issue the patient is having. Most of the time, factories don’t focus a lot of improvement energy here because these activities are already value added. Unless there is some way of making these activities even more streamlined or cost effective, time is better spent on improving other areas of business. By the same token, medical practices don’t need to spend a lot of time on the value added activities other than to make sure that the way they are being performed helps keep patient flowing smoothly through the practice. Sometimes little tweaks like rebalancing who does the work, or changing the order of how the value added activities are performed goes a long ways toward reducing patient waiting in between these critical processes. Required non-value added activities are business critical activities that the consumer doesn’t really care about but that the factory wouldn’t be able to function without. Many of these activities are required by law or are directly related to the financial management of the factory. These are things like complying with OSHA audits, instrument calibrations, and book keeping. Similarly, medical practices have to perform a lot of “Required non-value added” activities in order to stay in business. In medical practices these are things like certifications, continuing education, inventory management, and meeting meaningful use requirements. When factories identify required non-value added activities, they focus a lot of attention on how to reduce as much of the effort, time, and costs associated with these as possible, knowing that they can’t be eliminated altogether. A great example here would be studying the stability of tooling to determine what frequency of calibration is needed in hopes that calibration intervals can be lengthened. This helps reduce the amount of time spend on calibration for example. Similarly, a practice can analyze how effective their current appointment confirmation process is and look for ways to reduce the number of outbound calls that take place. In part two of this series, we will discuss non-value added activities and a couple of techniques that factories use to identify these. We will also be discussing some techniques factories use to eliminate non-value added activities that can be applied in medical practices. Hopefully this part of the series helps to demonstrate how treating patients in medical practice has some undeniable similarities to building products in a factory and that we can gain a lot to learn from how other industries tackle process challenges. Stay tuned for part two next week.

Add a comment

Related presentations

Related pages

Understanding Medications and What They Do

This article describes different types of ... Medical Care> Understanding Medications and What They Do. ... affect parts of the nervous ...
Read more

A Brief History of Group Practice - Doctors, Patient Care ...

A Brief History of Group Practice. ... Group practices can either be organized around a single ... In part, it stemmed from increasing medical ...
Read more

The Future of Medical Practice: Creating Options for ...

The Future of Medical Practice: ... sustaining their medical practices in a difficult practice ... These two very different practice designs have some ...
Read more

What’s Wrong With Factory Farms | Factory Farm Map

Factory farms produce millions of gallons of manure that can ... even if they aren’t ... health problems and stress caused by production practices, ...
Read more

Questions and Answers on Current Good Manufacturing ...

Questions and Answers on Current Good Manufacturing Practices, Good ... in part due to language in its own ... Since there are potentially many different ...
Read more

Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for the 21st Century ...

Section One Current Food Good Manufacturing Practices. ... products and medical ... information in different file ...
Read more

Pharmaceutical Corporations and Medical Research ...

Pharmaceutical Corporations and Medical ... profits aren’t ... on with corrupt practices, it seems. The British Medical Journal and the ...
Read more

Alternative medicine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alternative medicine practices may be ... fraud, new or different ... western practitioners that were not part of the medical ...
Read more

Products Made in America - Consumer Reports Magazine

Every case is different and subject to ... and among those who simply want to be part of a Made in America ... Because the materials aren’t ...
Read more

A new era for manufacturing in China | McKinsey & Company

A new era for manufacturing in China ... and evidence suggests that the country is already losing some new factory ... in large part by equipping ...
Read more