Using Lean to drive the Patient Safety Agenda

From: Amnis Ltd
Published: Wed Nov 25 2009

"We have used Lean to drive improvements in medication risk, reduce the risk of falls and infection and also to reduce other risks arising from ‘human error’ type issues, such as wrong site surgery," explained Amnis’ Mark Eaton.

Susan Williams, former Chief Executive of the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), commented: "My work with the Amnis team has shown how easily Lean and other service improvement initiatives can be adapted to tackle some of the major process and cultural issues that drive poor patient safety performance.

"Using Lean to review systems and processes can deliver improvements not just in efficiency but also by engaging clinicians in reducing patient safety risks and, importantly, in avoiding introducing new risks into the redesigned ways of working.

"Organisations may be missing a trick in not explicitly aligning patient safety goals into their change programmes," she added.

According to Amnis’ Eaton: "Lean has traditionally been used to drive improvements in productivity, experience and access in healthcare but as our work with organisations shows, with the right focus and access to specialist skills it is possible to tackle patient safety issues.

"The key to success is to ensure that you adopt an approach to Lean that is flexible for your organisation and to develop the internal capability of your staff as quickly as possible, so that they can take the reins for your improvement programme," Eaton advised.


About ‘Lean’

Coined by Jim Womack’s research team at MIT in the 1990s, ‘Lean’ means doing more with less. The core idea behind ‘Lean’ is to maximise customer value while minimising waste. A Lean organisation understands customer value and focuses its key processes to continually meet those needs.

About Amnis Limited

Working with both public and private sector organisations, Amnis is a consultancy which specialises in innovation, transformation and organisational improvement, helping clients plan and deploy strategies for successful transformation. Its goal is to help clients not only deliver sustainable change but also to develop their capability to tackle their next challenges.

Providing both consultancy and training services, Amnis’ team includes specialists in Lean/Six Sigma, organisational development, strategic planning, change management and systems thinking.

Further information from:

Ruth Bodman, Amnis, 00 44 (0) 870 446 1002;
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, 00 44 (0)1727 860405;
Company: Amnis Ltd
Contact Name: Bob Little
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: +44 (0)1727 860405

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