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"Lean" Process Improvement

Sometimes, we find ways to improve healthcare by looking outside the medical world. Hospitals have learned from businesses how to make healthcare more efficient and patient-centered. At HHC, the result is “Breakthrough,” the process improvement methodology we implemented in 2007 that enhances both staff and patient satisfaction while eliminating waste and streamlining operations in every part of the organization. Using Breakthrough, our healthcare teams are engaged in continuous performance improvement to provide a positive patient experience.


Process Improvement System at HHC

Breakthrough - HHC's Process Improvement System

“Lean” is the efficiency process that the Toyota Motor Corporation made famous. Lean isn’t just about cutting costs, it’s about making a more well-run organization that can better meet the needs of its customers—or in our case, our patients. It is also a proven approach to empower front-line employees to quickly find solutions that can be sustained and spread to other parts of the organization. The lean process improvement methodology looks at everything with an eye to how to improve it, whether it’s consolidating medical supplies or getting rid of unnecessary steps in the hospital admission process or the emergency room. At HHC, Breakthrough has led to:

  • Reduced wait time in the emergency room
  • On-time start for surgeries
  • Saving time and money by ensuring that referrals are appropriate for the care needed
  • Reduced hospital average length of stay
  • Enhanced revenue to address financial challenges
  • Creation of a central storage room, so doctors and nurses spend less time looking for supplies and more time with patients

Empowering the Workforce

Breakthrough has allowed the HHC workforce to adopt a standard method for innovating, planning and problem-solving. There is no better testimonial as to the tremendous power of Breakthrough to make real improvements than the messages from staff throughout HHC who have participated on Breakthrough teams. View this video to hear staff experiences.


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