Can a Healthcare “Lean Sweep” Deliver on What Matters to Patients?; Comment on “Improving Wait Times to Care for Individuals with Multimorbidities and Complex Conditions Using Value Stream Mapping”

Document Type: Commentary

Authors

Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, Ottawa, ON, Canada

Abstract

Disconnects and defects in care – such as duplication, poor integration between services or avoidable adverse events – are costly to the health system and potentially harmful to patients and families. For patients living with multiple chronic conditions, such disconnects can be particularly detrimental. Lean is an approach to optimizing value by reducing waste (eg, duplication and defects) and containing costs (eg, improving integration of services) as well as focusing on what matters to patients. Lean works particularly well to optimize existing processes and services. However, as the burden of chronic illness and frailty overtake episodic care needs, health systems require far greater complex, adaptive change. Such change ought to take into account outcomes in population health in addition to care experiences and costs (together, comprising the Triple Aim); and involve patients and families in co-designing new models of care that better address complex, longer-term health needs.

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Main Subjects


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