On Tuesday, November 19th 2019 Colorado Retina opened its doors to its second fully customized Lean designed clinic, in Lafayette, Colorado. As a practice, we decided to close and move our Superior/ Boulder Valley clinic to Lafayette to jump on the opportunity to build a brand new clinic space from scratch, one in which our physicians and staff were the leading voice in creating a workspace that was beneficial both for them and patients. Every decision made, was implemented to improve our staff workflow, reduce inefficiencies and waste and ultimately provide our patients with the best, value-based care. Our newest Lafayette clinic is located inside a brand new medical complex, called West Medical Building. The complex will also be home to an eye-care surgery center, making it convenient for patients to have their ophthalmology exams, laser, injections, and surgery if required, all in the same building. Our underlining goal was to improve teamwork and communication within clinic to in turn improve patient satisfaction.
Our first clinic that "went Lean" was our Englewood clinic, which opened Spring of 2019. After being open just a few short months, we saw dramatic improvements in our operations and culture. With a few simple changes to how we were doing our day to day work, we were able to reduce patient wait times, see more patients per hour without compromising the level of care, and run a consistent, profitable practice.
Many ask us "what is Lean Management?" and "why go Lean as a private ophthalmology practice". In a nutshell, Lean management is a powerful but simple methodology: it creates the greatest value for practices and patients by minimizing waste. Lean management was originally developed for the manufacturing industry and its implementation spurred the exponential growth of Toyota into the global brand it is today. Since then, lean management techniques have been implemented with great success in large medical operations and practices of all sizes. With the shifting regulatory landscape and increased focus on value-based care, practices like us at Colorado Retina, are challenged to do more with less. Alternative Payment Models (APMs) and Merit Base Incentive Programs (MIPS) requirements place increased emphasis on quality and patient satisfaction standards. A comparative analysis by the American Society of Quality from 2013 to 2016 shows continued growth in the number of industries that consider lean management a strategic asset and competitive differentiator. Lean management strategies are not just for large hospitals or healthcare organizations, even a small ophthalmology practice can implement the ideas of "going lean" without opening a whole new clinic entirely. Lean is a mind-shift, and change in how you perform your daily work, it can be as small as keeping a workstation organized or having an improved process for approvals. Ultimately, Lean identifies what creates value in the mind of the patient, then creating an improved process that captures all steps the practice takes to provide that value.
To learn more about Lean, from the consultant, Aneesh Suneja, at Flow One. Visit: https://www.aao.org/practice-management/lean-management