White Collar Lean - Streamlining Processes in Clinical Support Operations

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Lean Six Sigma

Joshua Bosire
Management Enginee
Virtua Health

Tejas Gandhi
AVP, Management Engineering
Virtua Health

Dr. Ninfa Saunders
EVP for Health Services
Virtua Health

Gozde Karacaoglu
Management Engineer
Virtua Health

This presentation will give a stepwise illustration of a lean deployment in a transactional setting within the health care industry. A case study will be presented to elaborate how lean principles enabled reductions in redundancy and non-value add time in the client support processes for a payroll department.

Over the last decade, and especially throughout the last half, there has been a steady growth in the use of continuous quality improvement (CQI) methodologies in the health care delivery industry. In part, this trend can be explained by the clear urgency to address the escalating costs associated with managing health care delivery operations. Consequently, hospitals and other health service delivery organizations have been pursuing the enterprise-wide adoption of process improvement philosophies, especially the lean manufacturing principles. In anticipation of the cost-cutting stipulations of the looming health care reforms, it is now more important than ever to focus on eliminating waste and increasing operational efficiencies. This presentation offers a case study depicting one of the many process improvement initiatives so far deployed at Virtua Health using the lean thinking philosophy. This particular effort was aimed at streamlining processes instituted to offer customer support in matters associated with editing and correcting payroll related errors. By using lean concepts in conjunction with creative IT tools, it was possible to make changes that resulted to a reduction in rework by 78%, a decrease in over-processing by 58%, an estimated saving of $3,000 paper costs as well as a total time saving equivalent to 1.5 full-time employees across two departments.