The Lean Approach; a way to best practice?

Now with the public sector facing the prospect of funding cuts, Alan argues that there is no better time to consider taking:

The Lean Approach

Lean is an approach designed to improve flow and eliminate waste which was originally developed in the motor manufacturing industry, but is now being introduced into many other industries and sectors including the health sector.

Lean is simply about flow, to smooth the journey, remove all the barriers and interruptions to delivering value, while minimising waste and being flexible and open to change.

It is not an expensive or necessarily radical overhaul of the way a business operates. It works by finding common sense solutions and exploiting the expertise that exists within the workforce.

Their experience is that this is a model that can be easily adopted and should be considered as a possible way forward in the NHS and could be introduced on a trust-by-trust basis.

Helping the business

In the case of Milton Keynes NHS Trust pharmacy, a high level of duplication and waste was identified through the Lean system, both in terms of stock control and time management.

The new processes were introduced with the help of specialist Lean consultants who were able to implement systems that were compatible with use of JAC.

The main role of the hospital pharmacy is to label, check and dispense drugs to the wards and there are predictable peaks in activity due to the timing of doctors

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