L’accesso ospedaliero: un’esperienza di riorganizzazione secondo l’approccio Lean Thinking - 013 The objective of making the admission to hospital services more efficient and effective can be pursued using diverse methods and organisational approaches. Lean thinking and theory of constraints - used in industry and manufacturing - have proved to be valuable for business process reengineering also within the healthcare sector. When changing and improving the hospital admission, lean thinking is a radical approach which requires addressing the whole process and not only single components in isolation. Applying the key principle of the Toyota production system, when increasing product/service value for customers/patients, all processes need to be redeveloped. The focus is not only on better hospital admission procedures, but concentrates also on creating a system where each step pulls the patients towards it when it is ready, from discharge backwards. The OLA project (in Italian "Organizzazione Lean dell’Assistenza") developed by the Local Health Authority of Florence shows how industrial systems such as lean thinking can be used to deliver higher quality health care. Relevant achievements are characterised by a strong strategic vision provided and continuously sustained by the executive leadership. Rigorous methodology and constant professional involvement and participation to the project are equally critical requirements.
Keywords: hospital admission; lean thinking for healthcare sector; business process reengineering; efficiency; continuous improvement.