Lean Methodology: An Evidence-Based Practice Solution

Tuesday, 23 July 2013: 2:10 PM

Pauline Marie Johnson, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC
Cardiology, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, NY

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to identify how Lean methodology can be utilized in influencing practice change

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to see how this evidence-based approach was used to decrease 30-day readmission rate in patients with heart failure

Lean methodology, a robust evidence-based practice approach adopted from the Toyota Production System in Japan, is a 21st century practice improvement solution. This approach, also known as Breakthrough by the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, is currently used by healthcare leaders to improve health systems. This is best described as a combination of philosophy, process, people and structured problem solving. Lean is grounded on the two key pillars, respect for all people and continuous improvement. This methodology became popular in the1980s when the world recognized the quality and efficiency of the Toyota brand. Lean methodology uses data from research studies, patient satisfaction surveys and quality improvement initiatives to drive organizational change. This evidence-based practice solution is been successfully employed in acute care hospitals to decrease 30-day readmission rates for patients with chronic heart failure, using the interdisciplinary team approach. The interdisciplinary team remains fully engaged with patients and their families throughout the process. This evidence-based approach has resulted in improved healthcare outcomes for patients, increased staff satisfaction and decreased healthcare cost. A Lean culture of continuous improvement supports the mission of the organization and the capabilities of each member of the interdisciplinary team. In addition, Lean identifies and tackles the true cause of readmission using the rapid improvement event, a process that identifies the root of a problem. Finally, evaluations are conducted daily, weekly and monthly by walking the Gemba (where the work is being done) with the goal of making adjustments and yielding sustainable incremental changes. Clinical nursing leaders are well positioned to become lean experts in transforming healthcare. An example applying Lean methodology, as a robust evidence-based practice approach will be presented, demonstrating the steps and measurable outcomes achieved.