If you want to make lean work for your organization, be prepared to huddle up.
According to the September healthsystemCIO.com SnapSurvey, in which the majority of respondents said their organizations have implemented lean methodologies, several CIOs identified daily huddles as a key to achieving benefits such as improved processes and increased staff engagement.
“It kept people focused on the prize,” said one respondent, while another noted that quick meetings can help “reinforce expectations.”
In the survey, 64 percent of CIOs said their organization is utilizing lean “in some areas,” with 14 percent noting it was part of the organization’s core philosophy.
And those who have taken the leap have realized benefits, with improved processes (79 percent) being cited as the biggest advantage, followed by reduction in waste (57 percent), improved staff engagement (43 percent), and increased communication (14 percent).
Of course, going lean isn’t without its challenges, as 29 percent of respondents experienced staff resistance early in the process. One way to overcome this, according to one CIO, is to obtain quick wins “and show them off,” so that others realize the benefits. Another is to maintain lean as “an organizational focus” and stay consistent with process improvement methodologies.
“Lean has to be a way of being,” noted one CIO.
(SnapSurveys are answered by the healthsystemCIO.com CIO Advisory Panel. To go directly to a full-size version of any individual chart, click on that chart.)
1. Has your organization adopted Lean management principles?
Yes, it’s part of our core philosophy
- We have many black belts and green belts. HR runs the program and we can utilize these people for projects.
Yes, but only in some areas
- We have process engineers that use various methods to improve operational efficiency, including Lean. We are not strict about which tool we use but try to use what we believe is best for each situation.
- We have done extensive work in our second largest of seven hospitals and limited work elsewhere to date.
- We had training a number of years ago. Frequent reference to being lean and some focused activity but not part of the culture as yet.
- There have been reviews of productivity and supply chain but no real Lean initiatives
2. If you answered no, are there plans to implement principles?
Yes, in the near future
- We’re engaging with Joint Commission for Robust Improvement Process, which utilizes Lean principles at its core.
- Hospital is in the process of being purchased, so there are no plans to implement
3. If you answered yes, in what areas have you seen in improvement since adopting lean principles?
Reduction in waste
- Most of the lean projects are related to cost saving initiatives.
Improvement in processes
- We had a very successful supply chain management process improvement project related to OR supplies.
Increase in communication/transparency
Improvement in staff engagement
None of the above
4. Did you encounter resistance from the staff at any point?
Yes, we encountered resistance early on
- The initiatives that were put in place all had pushback from the staff. If Lean processes were enacted, there would have been much more significant resistance.
- Physicians unwilling to break from traditional processes no matter how much efficiency was to be gained.
Yes, we encountered resistance throughout
No, we did not
- People were enthusiastic
- Staff saw Lean efforts at the hospital mentioned number 1 as a very staff/employee friendly and engaging process.
- Focused projects with committed leaders did well as staff were involved.
5. What do you think is the most important factor in successfully implementing Lean principles?
Effective communication of overall goals
All of the above
6. What component of Lean did you find to be the most successful in improving processes or increasing engagement (use of visual tools, daily huddles, rounding, etc), and why?
- Staff engagement and ownership — they make it work.
- Daily huddles were key.
- Daily huddles. It kept people focused on the prize.
- Daily huddles reinforce the expectations.
- Daily huddles. Lean has to be a way of being.
- Daily huddles.
- Must keep it an organizational focus.
- Get small wins and a lot of them. Show them off.