How Lean Design for Healthcare Can Improve Your Hospital’s Bottom Line
A panel discussion was held in March 2011 at the American Society of Healthcare Engineers Professional Development Conference in Tampa, Florida, with Panel Moderator Alan Sullivan, AIA, ACHA and three panelists who were chosen due to their three diverging backgrounds and their involvement with similar approaches to cutting costs in healthcare environments. Alan Sullivan, AIA, ACHA, is the Director of the Healthcare Studio at KZF Design in Cincinnati, Ohio, and works with functional concepts during early planning stages to master plan efficient departmental adjacencies and sharing of common services in a “just in time” methodology. Mike Smith, Sr.,(Col USAF Ret.) had the responsibility of leading the United States Air Force continuous process improvement program (AFSO21) that focused on increasing Air Force operational effectiveness and business efficiency. This body of work included facilities, bases infrastructure, acquisition, aircraft maintenance, healthcare, and training/operations as well as base realignment for increased efficiencies. Mary Ann Derr, RN, MBA works with clinical lean process to reduce work place waste and inefficiencies as well as identifying patient safety and infection control issues. W. Patrick Davey, MD, MBA has worked as a managing partner for an eight- physician dermatology surgery practice in the design of a new lean process surgery center/clinic, the largest free standing dermatology surgery center in the country. This paper is a summation and further analysis of the discussion among these four professionals and demonstrates how lean design for healthcare can improve hospitals’ operational efficiency and cost effectiveness.
This article originally appeared in The Academy Journal, published by the AIA Academy of Architecture for Healthcare (14th edition, November 2011).