In addition to formal education in value-based health care concepts and strategies, the Australian Centre for Value-Based Health Care will, in partnership with a number of providers, provide training in enabling techniques and solutions.

Lean is a philosophy that requires the continuous elimination of waste or non-value-added elements from processes so that customers or patients are given ever greater value. Lean processes use space, time and capital investment, staff and materials efficiently to improve the ‘flow’ of tasks from beginning to end.

Lean is a tried and trusted system that has generated major efficiencies for both customers and organisations and has been applied to the healthcare sector with great success. Standard healthcare systems are not designed to make the process of care flow smoothly. Most are organised around functional departments such as pathology, radiology, radiotherapy and ED, in which patients travel from one site to queue up at another and then, after ‘processing’, are sent to yet another.

The focus of Lean thinking in healthcare is therefore on improving flow among activities of ‘core value’ to the individual patients’ journey and to the organisation as a whole.  In describing the progress and implications for healthcare of Lean thinking, President and Chief Executive of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Donald Berwick commented ‘The challenge is to revolutionise our expectations of healthcare: to design a continuous flow of work for clinicians and a seamless experience of care for patients.’

In the context of value-based health care, Lean provides a set of tools and processes to support and operationalise the change needed to achieve value-based health care.

For more information and details of costs, contact us here.

The Productive Series – Releasing Time to Care

The Productive Series programs were originally designed by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement to release more time to care for frontline staff who typically spend less than 30% of their time providing direct care.

The Productive Series programs have been called “lean in a box”.  They are based on lean improvement techniques that encourage frontline staff and management to work together to improve patient care.  However, this is Lean which is:

customised specifically to healthcare,

modularised into manageable sections and

manualised into a toolkit box!

The Productives link directly to the achievement of activity targets and the National Safety and Quality Standards.  Hospitals talk about being “accreditation ready every day!” thanks to the Productives.

The programs have been independently evaluated in Australia and demonstrated improvements in safety and quality and substantial returns on investment in the order of 1:15 for inpatient wards and 1:18 for theatres.

Using the Productive approach, health services can:

Double direct care time

Reduce waiting times & length of stay

Improve falls, medication errors and other safety indictors

Improve staff wellbeing (thus reducing sick leave and recruitment & retention costs)

Improve patient experience and outcomes.

The full suite of Productive programs covers all the main areas of hospitals and health services with specific program for inpatient wards, mental health units, operating theatres and endoscopy suites, community services and community hospitals.  There is a program specific to aged residential care and one for general practice.  In addition, Qualitas is able to teach the Productive methodology in all other areas of the organisation such as Pharmacy and Outpatients.

The four main objectives of the Productive programs are to:

improve patient safety, quality and reliability of care,

improve staff well-being,

increase the proportion of time staff spend on direct patient care, and

increase patient satisfaction.

These objectives are achieved by staff working through a structured series of modules with toolkits.  The program is supported with guides for Executive leaders, Project leaders and Ward/Team leaders.  Staff commence with the foundation modules of:

Knowing How We are Doing

Well Organised Ward/Working Environment

Patient/Operational Status at a Glance.

This work establishes a set of measures based on the four objectives which are regularly reported on by teams, a clean, tidy and well organised environment from which to start working on process improvement and an information journey board to give staff key information “at a glance” and reduce interruptions. 

Once they have established this foundation, teams commence work on a series of process modules. These are typical processes that take place in the clinical setting.  After working through these, teams are well set up to work on any problem in their environment.

The Toolkits provide detailed instruction on the use of relevant service improvement tools such as Process Mapping, 5-Why analysis and Spaghetti diagrams.  The toolkit boxes are of the highest standard. The manuals and workbooks allow for self-directed learning and provide all the information, instructions, templates and tools required to enable staff to work through the programs and to ensure long-term sustainability. 

The Productive Series programs are a licensed product from NHS England.  Qualitas Consortium Pty Ltd holds the sole and exclusive license to deliver the programs in Australia. 

The training process typically covers 12 months of support and is a mix of workshops and webinars. Implementation training is typically 2 days training for key staff within the team.  There is a touch point by webinar once each month to ensure that staff stay on track and continue to make progress.   There are 2 follow-up workshop days which are an opportunity for teams to present on their progress and receive further coaching.  The follow-up days generally occur at 6 months and 12 months post implementation.

The AHHA, in association with Qualitas, is now able to offer The Productive Series programs.

For more information and details of costs, contact us.