Providers, payers and IT suppliers learn it pays to get Lean

In many existing IT systems, gathering and analyzing data simply takes too many steps.

"Instant gratification takes too long." This quip from a popular motion picture embodies the thinking of a society that places so much value on expedience that little else matters. But in competitive markets like healthcare, expedience is often not enough. It must be better, cheaper and faster to stand out as a competitive offering. It is in this spirit that the concepts of Lean manufacturing have gained such traction recently in healthcare. The principles of Lean are so intuitive and compelling that providers and payers alike can apply them and derive significant benefits in financial performance and customer satisfaction.



Ironically, Lean is not a new concept, just as the Six Sigma methodology has been practiced in various forms for centuries. It has emerged as a fundamental performance improvement methodology that can be applied to nearly every process, whereas Six Sigma is reserved for more complex problems. The practice of merging both techniques has given rise to a new discipline, "Lean Sigma."


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