Process and people – not tools – are the keys to healthcare improvement, claims Amnis

Research by the specialist healthcare quality, innovation and productivity improvement enabler, Amnis, highlights the value of focusing on the process of transformation and engaging people rather than ‘tools’ and ‘events’ in order to bring about lasting performance improvements.

According to research by the specialist healthcare quality, innovation and productivity improvement enabler, Amnis, healthcare organisations can make the mistake of becoming fixated on using tactical tools to produce performance improvement – such as those found in Lean programmes, including 5S and Value Stream Mapping – when they should be focusing on process and people in order to bring about lasting transformation and change.

Amnis’ extensive work in the healthcare and other sectors has shown that the key to long-term success is to concentrate on developing the right strategy for the transformation programme – including identifying the overall process you will use and the steps to be taken – as well as engaging the front-line teams and then keeping them engaged.

Davinder Virdi, director of strategy at Amnis, said: “There are many healthcare organisations which have used the Lean tools and similar approaches, such as Six Sigma, to address low level, tactical issues. However, our studies show that this approach nearly always fails to engage clinicians and that it is also difficult to link the resulting low level improvements to the organisation’s overall transformation strategy, meaning that nothing really changes.

“Being clear about the problems that need to be tackled – by engaging and continuing to maintain a dialogue with front-line teams as well as having a robust structure and strategy for improvement – leads to improvements that are better aligned with the organisational strategy,” he revealed.

Mark Eaton, Amnis’ managing director, added: “Our studies have shown that doing this leads to performance improvements that are more sustainable. Increasingly, senior teams are asking us to share this knowledge and to help them link their improvement activities to their overall strategy.”

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