Improved workflow can lead to improved patient care

ORLANDO, Fla. — Improved workflow and shortened visits result in an increased number of deliveries per day and greater access to care, according to a presenter, here.

“When it comes to applying lean principles to your practice, learn to identify waste in any process and learn to be intolerant to it,” Donald E. Katz, CO/L, FAAOP, said during his presentation at the O&P World Congress.


Donald E. Katz

Katz, vice president, Facilities & Process Design at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, discussed how to reduce waste and improve workflow during the Hamontree Lecture Series. He described the recent redesign of the orthotics department at Texas Scottish Rite, which was modeled after the lean management strategy. The lean approach aims to reduce waste in a process in order to improve workflow and outcomes.

The redesign included a transition from work benches to modular work stations with shared computers, the establishment of a community work bench and redistributing supplies to optimize space and reduce walking distances. Katz also noted that all staff were included in and contributed to the planning process.

Katz compared delivery time for orthoses fabricated in 2012, which was after the renovation, to delivery times for the devices in 2010. There was an overall reduction of 6% for fitting times of custom devices and a reduction of 5% for off the shelf devices in 2012 compared with delivery times for 2010.

“This meant that orthotists spent an increased amount of time with their patients rather than away during fitting,” Katz said. “The thought is that it will result in a decreased physical toll on staff and will also decrease staff frustration.”

For more information:

Katz D. Using lean principles to document changes in staff workflow and patient services. Presented at: O&P World Congress. Sept. 18-21, 2013. Orlando, Fla.

Disclosure: Katz has no relevant disclosures.

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