Core processes such as blood tests, work management systems, word rounds, and board rounds have a significant impact on the pace of patient flow within the healthcare system. Improving these core processes will therefore directly have a positive impact on the flow of patients within the system (King, Ben‐Tovim & Bassham, 2006). This can be achieved by improving the core processes such as improved turnaround times for the blood tests, an introduction of an electronic work management system, an improved scheme of take-home medicine as well as daily word and board rounds.
Since multiple points of delays have been observed in process mapping, patient stories and reviewing of notes all which lead to missed opportunities for discharge; improvements can be made, in these areas, to reduce their turnaround times (King, Ben‐Tovim & Bassham, 2006). Another model that has been widely used to improve the patient flow has been the “ discharge to assess” model where patients in need of post-discharge care are discharged as soon as they are declared medically fit in order to put in place assessment and care packages to the patients’ homes.
This goes a long way in minimizing reducing the hospital stay times for the patients in the ward (Perla, Bradbury & Gunther‐Murphy, 2013). The ‘ Lean’ Methodology in HealthcareThe ‘ lean’ methodology is an industrial production system aimed at producing what the system wants quickly and efficiently, with as little “ waste” as possible (Kollberg, Dahlgaard & Brehmer, 2006). The primary mission of the ‘ lean’ methodology is the elimination of waste and the maintenance of smooth flow in the production process. The system has been extensively applied in healthcare provision as it has been proved to produce excellent results in the other industries it has been used, e.g. , it has been intensively used by the Japanese motor vehicle production company, Toyota, for its sterling industrial output (Laursen, Gertsen & Johansen, 2003).
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