Lean management is a powerful but simple methodology: it creates the greatest value for practices and patients by minimizing waste. Lean management was originally developed for the manufacturing industry and its implementation spurred the exponential growth of Toyota into the global brand it is today. Since then, lean management techniques have been implemented with great success in large medical operations and practices of all sizes.
Why Go Lean?
With the shifting regulatory landscape and increased focus on value-based care, practices are challenged to do more with less. Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and Merit Base Incentive Programs (MIPS) requirements place increased emphasis on quality and patient satisfaction standards. A comparative analysis by the American Society of Quality from 2013 to 2016 shows continued growth in the number of industries that consider lean management a strategic asset and competitive differentiator. Using lean management strategies, ophthalmology practices can:
- Improve practice efficiency;
- Decrease waste;
- Increase profitability;
- Improve quality of care;
- Improve patient satisfaction.
How Lean Works
Lean revolves around five key principles:
- Identify what creates value in the mind of the patient.
- Create a comprehensive process list that captures all steps the practice takes to provide this value.
- Prioritize and refine the actions that create primary value and do them as consistently, smoothly and well as possible.
- Give the patient as much as he or she requires, not more.
- Perfect this process and remove waste iteratively.
Why Lean Works
Lean strategies eliminate waste of money, time and resources. It increases your bottom line and patient satisfaction—all critically important to running a profitable ophthalmic practice that is valued by patients. It’s also a powerful team builder:
- Lean succeeds when physicians, practice administrators and staff actively collaborate to create a high-functioning practice.
- By using specific skill sets and perspectives, the practice can identify needless duplication of work, uneven workloads and areas to improve patient flow.
- Practices that regularly review their operations through the lens of lean principles create a habit and culture of continuous quality improvement.
- Lean implementations increase both staff and physician satisfaction
Get Lean with These AAOE Practice Management Tools
AAOE provides a series of innovative Lean tools crafted specifically for ophthalmic practices. Check here regularly for updates.
More about Lean Practice Management
Check out these resources on applying Lean principles to ophthalmic practice.
Going Lean series:
From EyeNet Practice Perfect:
Additional Lean resources:
Email Licia Wells, AAOE program manager.