PROCESS IMPROVEMENT IN THE MILITARY HEALTH SYSTEM AND VA HOSPITALS
Although relatively new to the use of Lean Six Sigma, the Department of Defense Military Health System has already achieved significant return on its investment with these efforts. For example, there have been major improvements in turnaround times for laboratory data to Emergency Departments, lowered costs of procuring and storing high-cost immunizations, and greater speed in credentialing of military and civilian contract healthcare providers in local hospitals to name just a few.
Meanwhile, the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system, which is intended to operate seamlessly with the military health system, presents the opportunity to implement continuous process improvement (CPI) efforts addressing its own unique problems and, in turn, share best practices.
To date, the military health system has done an excellent job of providing and administering care to beneficiaries. Now more than ever, the orchestration of healthcare delivery across the entire military spectrum will be crucial to address the needs of tomorrow, and the demand for constant improvement in all areas from safety, cost effectiveness, and timeliness to how well the system responds to beneficiaries.
The good news is that CPI implementations translate to increased patient satisfaction and budget performance. However, along with the many successes that have been achieved there are a number of deployment challenges that must be overcome before these CPI programs can be sustained.
- Frequent rotation of military personnel to new duty stations.
- Sudden and unexpected deployment of individual physicians, nurses, technicians to overseas hospitals and Navy ships.
- Uncertain funding for military hospitals due to cost of funding the war.
- Difficulty in assigning active duty personnel as full-time Black Belts.
- Negative experiences with previous methodologies.
- Time constraints – providing care to patients and conducting LSS activities while understaffed.
Difficulty in determining the true return on investment in not-for-profit healthcare systems.There has been greater attention paid in recent years to the quality of healthcare in the military, especially in improving delivery system processes. But there is much more that can be done. To find out about these deployment challenges, and some of the approaches that can be used to overcome them, download the white paper “Leveraging Lean Six Sigma to Harness the Best of VA and Military Healthcare.”
MILITARY HEALTHCARE SERVICES
NOVACES is a leading implementer of Lean Six Sigma and Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) solutions in military healthcare. By leveraging over two decades of applied research experience and successful CPI deployments in both public and private hospitals in the US and abroad, we are capable of solving military healthcare’s most challenging problems and generating breakthroughs in clinical outcomes and budget performance.
Lean Six Sigma / CPI / System Redesign
Deployment Planning & Strategy Alignment
Enterprise Project Selection
Project Management & Execution
Performance Management System Deployment
CPI Practitioner Mentoring & Apprenticeship
Improvement Event Facilitation
Lean Six Sigma / CPI – Champion, Master Black Belt, Black Belt, Green Belt, Lean Expert
TRIZ Innovation Methods
Leadership & Management Development